The ballot goes blowing in the wind

Daily Tribune Cartoon
Daily Tribune Cartoon

The absurdities of the Comelec position that poll automation can safely be conducted nationwide in 2010 are getting more glaring.

One has to do with the truncated design of the Smartmatic-TIM proposal.  They could have set up a keyboard interface for the voter to make his choices, but they didn’t.  Instead, the voter must “shade” in his choices on a proposed ballot that can contain up to 600 names depending on how many candidates qualify for the 2010 elections.  Comelec now has an incentive to err on the side of “short lists” when it decides to disqualify candidates.

See the editorial today in the Daily Tribune.  A further interesting question:  What would a “party list” group with lots of funds do to make sure it can run for Congress in the 2010 elections? (Hat tip to Lolong Rejano for inspiring this question.)

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3 thoughts on “The ballot goes blowing in the wind

    1. Obviously not. The Dominion system shown in your link is voter friendly. They even give the voter an audio way of verification (presumably for blind voters). This system is nicely complete, in contrast with the truncated system offered by Smartmatic in the contract with Comelec.

      The question to ask is also: Is the “front end” – the voter interface – also an important factor in the reliability of a technology? The answer must be yes. Many bad things can happen with the truncated system: One, the voter may find that he cannot find his choice easily. Two, if the ballot is too long/big, it may jam up the scanner, in which case there could be chaos given the time and resource (only so many backup scanners are available) constraints. Three, if it takes too long to shade in the ballot, the “early” votes are counted, but the “late” voters are disenfranchised.

      But if you had a workable front-end voter interface, the ballot can be short and easy to read, and the voter has a chance to see and verify his choices before casting his ballot, as in the complete Dominion system. But that will not be what we would get under the truncated system offered by Smartmatic.

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