It has became apparent that the 2010 Philippine elections are in trouble.
Today a coalition of church and progressive groups gathered in front of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
In case you haven’t been keeping up the elections are going to be historic. If all goes well it will be the first ever automated election in the Philippines. If all doesn’t go well, well, it might get ugly.
What we know so far:
– COMELEC announced a while back that it expects 30% of the Smartmatic election machines to fail–and that this was acceptable. “The Comelec has long said it is prepared for a 30-percent [failure rate]—in other words, that as many as 22,000-plus voting machines may malfunction or be inoperable on May 10.” [Inquirer.net]
– The machines failed in Hong Kong during the overseas vote in April.
– In the first major public tests in the Philippines (earlier this week!) the machine software malfunctioned giving all votes cast to the administration candidate.
– 76,000 machines need to have their software fixed between now and Monday 10 May 2010.
– There is little chance of a full manual count being done as it hasn’t been prepared for (and hiring all the people, getting all the forms ready, and having the money for it is a bit tough to do in four days).
As Liza Maza, currently a congresswoman for Gabriela Women’s Party and a senatorial candidate (who I would vote for if I could) says:
With only a few days to go… the automated elections with COMELEC’s partner Smartmatic have all gone problematic. The Commission is liable for the serious doubts on the credibility of the elections, as well as for the looming irregularities and lack of contingency measures in the event that these errors and glitches have not been address.
It all seems a little odd doesn’t it? That COMELEC had years to prepare for this election… and only now are they finding out their P10 billion machines bought abroad don’t work?
Seemingly, the stage is set for the elections to fail to pave the way for the extension of President Arroyo’s rule… (Rep. L. Maza)
I don’t know about you, but with this and the ‘hanging chad’ fiasco in the States in 2000, I have to give credit to Canada to just sticking with a simple manual count…
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In case you’re a reader from the Philippines or if you just want to learn more about the political groups present here (they could use your support if you have a vote, they’d have mine!), check out:
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