A network of digital advocates is urging the Commission on elections to look at available voting technologies that will be more compatible with the Philippine election process after Commissioner George Garcia announced that the poll body has disqualified Smartmatic from all COMELEC procurement processes.
Digital Pinoys national campaigner Ronald Gustilo said that the the disqualification of Smartmatic marks a pivotal moment for the future of automated elections in the Philippines as it gives COMELEC the perfect opportunity to find a provider that aligns better with the Philippine election process.
“This move is seen as a chance to not only to address the public’s concern on the efficiency of the vote counting machines. Technical glitches have always marred the conduct of automated elections. The call is not merely for a replacement but for a provider that can offer superior vote counting machines, reducing the technical problems that have marred previous automated elections.”
Gustilo went on to express that Smartmatic’s disqualification enables COMELEC to seek an updated and transparent provider capable of revolutionizing the Philippine automated election landscape.
“With over a decade since Smartmatic’s involvement, there might have been advancements in voting technology that might offer solutions to address the specific needs of the Philippine electoral process. This shift is viewed as crucial to restoring public confidence in the integrity of election results, particularly after past instances of technical issues, alleged vote tampering, and mishandling of election paraphernalia.”
Recently, cause-oriented groups, advocates, and political figures called for the disqualification of Smartmatic due to allegations of electoral fraud.
Looking ahead, the COMELEC is urged to compel new applicants to demonstrate a commitment to providing technologically advanced solutions surpassing those previously offered by Smartmatic.
“The goal is to enhance the efficiency of vote counting machines and minimize the occurrence of technical difficulties on election day. By addressing these issues head-on, the electoral body can not only advance the integrity of the electoral process but also respond to the skepticism that has emerged in the aftermath of technical glitches and controversies surrounding previous automated elections.”
Reference: Ronald Gustilo, Digital Pinoys, National Campaigner