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Election 2013, News, Politics, SysOp's Blog

SysOp’s Blog: Electronic voting machines have made mistakes too

There’s still alot of debates going on regarding the automated system that happened in the May 2013 elections. Many doubted the outcome of the elections due mainly of reported PCOS malfunctions, CF (Compact Flash) Cards corruption or tampering and the reputation of Smartmatic, the company who developed the software.

On my blog  Elections 2013: Why Facebook can replace the P9 Billion PCOS Machine, I listed some flaws on the current system and suggested some improvement. It’s not perfect but i mentioned that another factor affecting the outcome of elections is of a moral issue and cannot be solved by any type of technology.

Roberto Verzola, a computer expert, also wrote a couple of papers regarding Automated Elections.  He is currently involved in efforts to reform the system of election tabulations in the Philippines through Halalang Marangal.

Mr. Verzola was my mentor back in the Philippines. I started working for him just as I was finishing up my Engineering course. I got fascinated with his work that lead me to specialized in computer communications. During my times with him, we were already communicating with other users around the world using modems hook up to telephone lines. This was way before internet was even available in the Philippines.

Anyway, in his paper which you can download from here ( Roberto Verzola ssrn-id1150274). He had some interesting statistics that can change your perception about electronic voting such as fast results doesn’t mean good results.

This paper reviews the errors and other problems that have actually occurred in automated election systems in various countries. Some problems have been serious enough that countries like the Netherlands have actually abandoned electronic voting machines and gone back to paper and pencil. Other problems have been cropping up with surprising regularity, especially in the U.S., where nearly 90% of counties were already automated in 2007, up from around 87% in 2006. The study of these problems can lead to a deeper appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of automated machines as applied to a democratic process like an election.

If you read on, he was right on all counts on why errors persist in voting machines. Software and hardware errors, human errors, environmental stesses are listed as culprits. This same errors exist during the May 2013 Elections.

Interestingly though, we are in agreement that technology, although can be flawed is just a support to a more credible elections. In his Conclusion:

More than a technological problem, election fraud is really a social problem and therefore calls for social solutions, supported by technological means. The only effective social solution to fraud – in elections or in any other area – is eternal vigilance and punishment for the cheats.


About SysOp

Chief Architect of abrenian.com


15 thoughts on “SysOp’s Blog: Electronic voting machines have made mistakes too

  1. So, does this means the election results should be invalid until they can prove the CF cards and PCOS machines were re-configured which resulted to change of votes? I pray for your mentor to really find the truth! Why did the President even bothered using this system?

    Posted by comli2013 | May 27, 2013, 1:18 am
  2. No Madam Mely, it is not invalid since the errors or so called mistakes has not reached the threshold for invalidation, so it will remain binding as proclaimed all the winners.

    Posted by Bodong | May 27, 2013, 5:36 am
  3. If 90/cent of all countries are using PCOS machines, then there’s no doubt, the result is reliable n authentic. Only human error, as human is not perfect, makes it otherwise.

    Posted by Tagamasid | May 27, 2013, 6:47 am
  4. Few technical errors here and there do not make the losers win. Machine errors should not be viewed as cheating by those who won. Let’s move on Abra. Don’t be crying over a spilled milk.

    Posted by Ringnoster | May 27, 2013, 7:24 am
  5. isu met lang nga naabak da luna, naswitik da gayam

    Posted by Chinese Community | May 27, 2013, 8:14 am
  6. haan adda magic na jay machine pcos

    Posted by birabid | May 27, 2013, 10:34 am
  7. The Commission on Elections might no longer use the precinct count optical scan or PCOS machines in the 2016 presidential polls after the machines, purchased for P1.8 billion, became the focus of widespread criticism in the just concluded mid-term elections.

    “I don’t think we should use PCOS anymore because of my experiences with them,” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes told a radio interview Wednesday.

    Haan da kano nga usarenen! husto ta kunayo ser bossing sysop. addo unay ti anomalya na.

    Posted by Hucos-PCOS | May 27, 2013, 1:05 pm
  8. Adobt reklamo panggep deta..han nxaat..bulok a sistema…

    Posted by iljne | May 27, 2013, 10:43 pm
  9. Since you are talking about the Election here, pwede po bang malaman sa inyo esp. to COMLI kung pwede po bang bomoto ang mga army or mga PNP sa mga lugar na kung saan sila naasign? kasi po sa amin, bomoto po ung mga Military na naassigned po doon at may army pa na nagalit sa isang voter dahil nagtanong ung voter kng bakit sila boboto eh ang alam po namin nag absente vote po sila before the may 13 Election. and one thing more, pwede po bang iboto (Isaup) ung mga voters na nasa ibang bansa? because nangyari po yan sa aming lugar, wala po kaming maprovide na documentation dahil ipinagbawal po ang camera at paggamit ng camera ng mga cellphones at kinuha pa ang videocam ng isang mamamyan na kukuha sana ng video during the election. Akala ko allowed ang mga camera dahil un ang sabi sa TV dahil nga may mga programs sa tv tulad ng “ang bayan mo Ipatrol mo” by ABSCBN.

    Posted by lavander | May 28, 2013, 9:24 am
    • @LAVENDER…..as far as I am concerned, kung saan ka nakaregister as a voter duon ka dapat bumutos. If you think you cannot make it to cast your vote where you are registered, then you can send you “absentee ballot. It is a matter of knowing and standing your right and what you can do about it. Your experience and yong mga nakita mo are against humanitarian rights that needs to be addressed. We, at Save Lives and Save Dignity are collecting information like yours and are working how to address them and get resolution. We have to do something NOW for a clean election in the future.
      Email me if you need more info about our NGO @c_omli@yahoo.com Thanks for asking me.

      Posted by comli2013 | May 28, 2013, 2:05 pm
  10. Thank you very much ms.COMLI for your response to my queries and thank you for entrusting me your email. I’ll find time to send more info to you. more power and God bless.

    Posted by lavander | May 29, 2013, 8:33 am
  11. @LAVANDER ….you’re welcome!

    Posted by comli2013 | May 29, 2013, 2:29 pm
  12. Diay kaso nga 70-20-10 pattern iti resulta ti senatorial election mangmangted iti karirikna nga adda talaga hocus-Picus a naaramid. Diay impabpablaak ti survey, 70-20-10 met laeng. Kasla adda conspiracy dagitoy survey firms ken ti administration tapno saan a madlaw diay magic da. Ma-outlaw koma ti agpublisar iti surveys lalo no panawen iti election. Pang private consumption laeng koma dagita. Mind conditioning, magmangted iti saan a patas a laban.

    Posted by naeling | May 30, 2013, 12:13 am
  13. Probably,the person who made the PCOS program can answer all our doubts…that’s the best answer to all …

    Posted by kim | May 31, 2013, 8:18 am

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