Tatad proposes three-pronged strategy to boost automated polls' success

January 31, 2010 12:24 am 

MANILA, Jan. 30 -– A senatorial candidate and former legislator proposes three-pronged measure to ensure the success of the May 10 elections this year.

Former senator Francisco ‘Kit’ Tatad said Commission on Elections (Comelec) must institute mandatory parallel manual counting of election returns in all precincts nationwide so there can be back-up means for checking poll results in case the planned automated elections fails.

He also urged Comelec to conduct nationwide mock voting using the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines which the government purchased and the tally transmission system for automated elections to ensure these can handle the load of poll data that’ll be generated.

Comelec must also check the susceptibility of government’s poll automation system to cyber terrorist attacks, Tatad said.

”These proposals are meant to ensure maximum confidence in the electoral process,” he said at Kapihan sa Sulo forum.

He made the proposals as he noted that Comelec’s field testing of the PCOS machines “proved unsatisfactory.”

”This gave rise to much fear about possible failure of election,” he said.

Tatad commended Comelec for exerting efforts to bring about credible automated elections.

More must be done to help ensure such elections happen, however, he said.

”Comelec’s efforts may not be sufficient at present,” he said.

University of the Philippines College of Law’s Dean Froilan Bacungan expects the government will be able to successfully conduct credible automated elections this year.

He noted Comelec’s top management is demonstrating determination to realize this goal.

”I think the elections will go through as planned because of people like Comelec Chairperson Jose Melo and Commissioner Rene Sarmiento,” he said at the forum.

He also said Melo demonstrated his independence from Malacanang and this augured well for the 2010 polls’ success. (PNA) RMA/CJT/rsm

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