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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Disbelief out of Unpreparedness

The recently concluded national elections in the Philippines had brought me several new records and "first times." It was the first national elections that uses automation. And it was the first time I was able to serve not just a voter but as operator of the electronic consolidation and canvassing system.

"The May 10 Elections, had been fast compared to the previous elections," says my Election Officer and many people would agree. Its quickness even rendered most losers unprepared to accept their fate. It would be hard for candidates who spent more than what is required by law during the campaign period to know quickly just overnight that they lost. The surge of emotions of unpreparedness and disbelief even resulted to massive complains and protests. There are doubts even as to the technical capabilities of the machines to count the votes 100% correctly. Well, they have the right to request the Commission on Elections for a manual count and see if the result is really correct. Since this is the first time it would be wise to show the public the manual count tallies with the machine count. But to what extent the COMELEC should allow this depends on the Lawyers.

I have personally experienced the canvassing and consolidation as a system operator. I was awake for the entire 48hrs since the the Board of Canvassers' initialized the system at about 12:00 noon on May 10 until the next day when every reports had to be printed and the local winners proclaimed. I personally did it for the sake of history and nothing else. The pay is even less than the risk and pressures, but the record is priceless.

Reports however came into my ear that some losing camps resort to putting colors on everything, even on my humble intentions. But I don't blame them because I knew sooner or later they would accept that a coin always has two faces. There's only one thing I can attest to myself that as a System Operator, it was impossible for me to have direct influence on the numbers in the final result.

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