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Questions, questions, questions! C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 05/31/2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Questions, questions, questions!

Jonathan De la Cruz
More questions than answers is cropping up in the ongoing joint congressional canvass for president and vice president, which is a constitutional duty lodged only on the legislature and the concurrent inquiry of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reform into the conduct (or misconduct as one congressman noted) of the country’s first automated elections. In the case of the canvass, a number of potentially canvass breaking issues have cropped up. First, the matter of compliance by Commission on Elections (Comelec) and its automation contractor, Smartmatic-TIM, with the terms and conditions of their contract and the automation law. There were at least three features of the system which were not complied with such as: a) voter verification feature (VVF) to enable a voter to confirm that those he voted for were correctly recorded and counted by the PCOS machine; b) the use of UV lamps to test whether a ballot is fake or not (most precincts some as near as Magallanes Village in Makati City did not use any such implement); and c) the two boards (BEI at the precinct level and the BoC at the municipal, city and provincial levels) did not have “digital signatures” as provided for under the law. The question that arises is this: can — or should it be, must — the Congress proceed with the canvass without satisfying itself that the polls were not compromised, legal or otherwise, as a result of such non-compliance.

Up to now, for example, the matter of “digital signatures,” a key security component of the entire system has yet to be resolved to the full satisfaction of the canvass committee and the public. The matter of “digital signatures” impacts directly on the canvass committee’s aceptance of the Certificates of Canvass (CoC) now under congressional custody at the Batasan complex. As provided for under the law and the canvass rules, the canvass committee and later the full joint congressional session, must satisfy themselves that: a) each CoC was “duly executed, signed and thumbmarked by the chairman and members of the city, district or provincial boards of canvassers (BoCs); b) that it contains the names of all candidates for president and vice president and their corresponding votes in words and figures; and c) there exists no discrepancy in other authentic copies of the CoCs or in any other supporting documents and d) there exists no discrepancy in the votes of any candidate against the aggregate number of election returns of precincts covered by the CoC. The automation masters — Comelec and Smartmatic — have yet to fully explain the protocols, including selection, disclosure and naming of the recipients of the secret digital signature..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100531com4.html


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