Sunday, December 6, 2009

Joker: Give poll automation a chance

By Aurea Calica
The Philippine Star
Updated December 07, 2009 12:00 AM

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Joker Arroyo appealed to the people yesterday to give the automated elections a chance as he urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to conduct an extensive educational campaign to inform the voters about the new computerized poll system.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the Comelec and the public should be on guard and prepare even for the failure of elections as the worst-case scenario.

“When it was manual voting, people wanted the election process to be computerized. Now that it’s here, they say it’s not going work. It’s neither here nor there. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. There are so many faultfinders. Suddenly everything is wrong again,” Arroyo said.

“Now that everything is finalized, nobody is ever right,” he added.

Arroyo said there must be a positive and extensive information campaign because “we don’t know where the hitches” would be.

Other senators have warned of massive disenfranchisement of voters due to confusion or the voiding of votes due to erroneous filling out of ballots.

Lacson said the problem with automation was that it was not tested but “I would rather try my luck on automation.”

He warned the people against massive fraud and a clear mechanism should be implemented to handle the possible failure of elections.

“If the elections do not push through, there will be no proclamation (of new officials) on June 30. It must be clear to us because those in the executive department might go out of bounds and stay beyond June 30 though it would be unconstitutional,” Lacson said.

“In case that crisis arises, a transitional government might be in force,” Lacson said, adding those with mandates beyond 2010 – such as the 12 sitting senators whose terms would be until 2013 – should establish a mechanism of succession and ensure the country’s political stability.

Original Story:

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