Being a development activist of the new millennium, I am for the computerization of Philippine elections because it will: a) hasten counting and canvassing of votes; b) reduce paper waste, and c) reduce labor. Of course, that will only materialize if several preconditions are met, e.g., robust telecommunications infrastructure, voter education, an open policy in terms of software, standards and content, and a credible government (in terms of moral, political and technical ascendancy).
This site gives an academic approach to laying down the pros and cons of the use electronic voting machine along the following 10 issues:Â
- Vulnerability to Hacking
- Disabled Voters and Electronic Voting Machines
- Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails
- Accuracy in Capturing Voters’ Intent
- Political Ties of Manufacturers
- Secure Storage of Votes
- Malicious Software Programming
- Physical Security of Machines
- Susceptibility to Fraud
- Federal Legislation
I don’t know whether COMELEC has gone through the rigor of this kind of study before it came out with the computerized voting policy three years ago. Perhaps not, because that move was doomed to fail practically.
There’s hope, though, for the eventual computerized election system. COMELEC has approved the online voting for Filipinos working in Singapore. Although it covers just a small subsection of Pinoy voters, it will bring important lessons for trying the electronic way for other OFWs.
Online voting has worked in Estonia. Provided that the preconditions abovementioned are met, it sure will work in the Philippines as well.