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2010 election results out in 2 days - Smartmatic

June 10, 2009 8:43pm

It will only take two days or less for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to come up with the complete and accurate results of next year’s national elections, the winning bidder in the multibillion poll automation project assured on Wednesday.

“We are comfortable that within one or two days, we will have all the results for all the positions, nationwide," said Cesar Flores, sales director of Smartmatic which, along with partner Total Information Management (TIM), bagged the P11.3-billion project for the 2010 elections.

Flores also guaranteed that the machines that would be used in the elections would be foolproof.

“We guarantee that the data won’t be altered and that not a single vote will be changed. We guarantee that through this system that every vote will be counted correctly and no alterations will be done by anyone," he said.

The Comelec is set to lease roughly 82,200 machines from the Smartmatic/TIM consortium for next year’s elections, which would be done through the Precinct Counting Optical Scan (PCOS) system.

The PCOS is a paper-based voting system in which the marked ballot is fed into a scanning machine that records and electronically tallies the votes. Ballots are then stored in a box under the machines while the results are automatically transmitted.

Antonio Mugica, Smartmatic’s chief executive officer, said that in their previous election experiences abroad, 80 percent of the results were already available within five to six hours after the voting period closes.

“In our past projects, we have transmitted about 150 million votes and not even one vote had ever been tampered. That includes the US and Latin America," Mugica said, noting that the Philippines only has more or less 50 million registered voters.

Filipinos abroad, however, will have to vote manually, as the poll automation project does not cover absentee voters.

Smartmatic is a Netherlands-based company that has presence in the US, Mexico, Venezuela, Barbados, Spain, Taiwan and the Philippines. TIM, on the other hand, is a Filipino solutions company established in 1985 that has banks among its major clients.

Doubts on whether or not the automation of next year’s elections would be effective arose when one of the machines by the consortium overheated during a demonstration at the Comelec office last month.

Mugica described the incident as an “unfortunate event that will not happen again."

Flores admitted that they made a “big mistake" during the demonstration.

“Smoke, although it has no sound, made a lot of noise. We did made a big mistake in bringing in the wrong wire. But again what short-circuited was not the machine, not the battery," he said. - GMANews.TV
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