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Poll automation critic ‘thrilled’ that he was proven wrong

A vocal critic of the poll automation on Wednesday said he was “absolutely thrilled" that he was proven wrong as he noted the success of the country’s first nationwide electronic elections held last Monday. “The elections, despite our worse apprehensions, did not fail," said lawyer Harry Roque Jr., the co-convenor of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) who earlier predicted that the automated elections would fail due to glitches in the machines that would be used in the process. The CCM had filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to stop the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from implementing the automated elections following the problems with the machines during the actual tests. The court, however, junked the petition for being baseless. Roque, in a statement, said both the Comelec and technology provider Smartmatic-TIM should be lauded for the successful elections. “Credit should be given to both the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM for this triumph of democracy. As we have repeatedly stated, we would be more than happy if history were to prove us wrong. And by God, we’re absolutely thrilled," he said. He said teachers and volunteers who served as board of election inspectors should also be credited. “In precincts where the [Precinct Count Optical Scan] machines did not work and a replacement was not immediately forthcoming, the teachers proceeded with the voting sans the machines anticipating that a replacement would arrive by end of the polling day," Roque, a UP professor, said. Roque, however, said the experience did not prove them completely false, noting that even leading presidential candidate, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy" Aquino III, experienced first-hand what they had warned against when he had to wait for hours before he was able to cast his votes. Roque noted that among the problems encountered during the elections were delays in voting due to the re-clustering of precincts, PCOS machines that malfunctioned, and the replacements that took hours to arrive. - KBK, GMANews.TV