At the very end of HALAL’s report on poll automation, it states: “Pray for the best. Prepare for the worst.”
Each man an astronaut with a line to Houston seems to be the implicit message. And we should all look like Tom Hanks.
HALAL does not even directly address the one last safety measure – the random manual audit. They do call for manual precinct count where there is some kind of obvious failure.
It is arguable that there is already an obvious failure in the absence of the machine-readable UV markings on the ballot, the opaque black ballot box, the “excess” voter registrants, the “excess” ballots and smart cards, and the inability of a voter to get an on-screen verification that his choices were indeed counted.
But it seems that Comelec officials fully trust the competence of Smartmatic, and perhaps they have their proverbial heads in the sand. Elections should be held at the beach.
It seems of no more use to ask how we got here or there. But it is fair to ask the question on the test of negligence. It is negligence if, on reasonable grounds, a mishap or harm would be expected by a prudent man to result from what a person does or does not do. HALAL’s report leads to a fair conclusion that there has been negligence on the part of Comelec officials and Smartmatic.
But of course, a negligent party can get lucky. Just because he drives at reckless speed and doesn’t wear a seat belt doesn’t mean he is liable. The negligence still must cause harm.
And so we pray.