February 17, 2016
Reference: Rick Bahague
“Without a genuine source code review to really check if accurate counting instructions are being implemented by Vote Counting Machine (VCMs), coupled with proper hash code verification to ensure that the correct program is installed, we expect more discrepancies in vote counts during election day.” This was the warning issued by Mr. Rick Bahague, IT professional and Convenor of Kontra Daya, a broad alliance of advocates of clean and honest elections.
“Observations from mock polls in Kalibo Pilot Elementary School in Aklan province last February 13 showed that discrepancies in vote counts ranged from one to three votes for certain candidates in almost all positions,” explained Mr. Bahague. During the first manual counting and tallying of votes cast in Aklan, twenty votes were found to be miscounted by VCMs. A repeat of the manual count recorded ten miscounted votes. “The accuracy of the vote reading and counting capabilities of the VCMs have been found questionable since way back in 2010,” said Mr. Bahague. “How can we trust the result of this batch of VCMs?”
|Comparison of the number of votes tallied by the VCM (ER) and during the 1st and 2nd manual counting of votes at the Kalibo Pilot Elementary School last February 13|
|Position||Candidate||ER||Result of 1st Manual Counting||Discrepancy||Result of 2nd Manual Counting||Discrepancy|
|Vice Pres||1 Efron||7||5||2||7|
|4 Termulo||6||5||1||6 (later changed to 5)|
|TOTAL MISCOUNTED VOTES||20||10|
Kontra Daya monitored 11 rejected ballots and 1 misread ballot out of 66 voters in Kalibo Pilot Elementary School in Aklan. This translates to 18 percent of total votes cast that were not counted. “Rejected and misread ballots by VCMs are tantamount to voter disenfranchisement and a violation of our constitutionally guaranteed right to vote,” said Mr. Bahague.
“Such a high error rate is also alarming and may affect the outcome in a close race,” he warned.
“What we have observed is merely the counting of votes at the precinct level by VCMs. We have yet to see the behavior of the consolidation and canvassing servers at the municipal and national levels. How many votes are miscounted or consolidated by the canvassing machines?” asks Mr. Bahague. “In the traditional, manual method of elections, dagdag-bawas happens at the canvassing level. Can COMELEC and SMARTMATIC assure us that the there will be no automatd dagdag-bawas?” ###
Photo by Maria Feona Imperial