"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Paper trail a safeguard for automated polls

THE safety and integrity of automated polls can be guaranteed by what is called a voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT), Senator Richard Gordon, an advocate of poll automation, said Wednesday.

The head of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws is in California to observe the effectiveness of automated elections.
“The US is the greatest democracy in the world,” he said in a statement. “Protecting the vote of their people is a pillar of this democracy, and they willingly entrust it to an automated election system.”

“A few hours after the people in the US cast their ballots, which they can verify through the VVPAT, the results are in, and this is my dream for the Philippines,” he said, noting that this is the system used in 22 US states.

“I don’t know what we are so afraid of,” he added. “So many countries are already using automated election systems, why can’t we do the same in the Philippines for the sake of fast, orderly, honest, free, peaceful and credible elections?”

Senate Bill 2231, an amendment to the Election Automation Law, was approved by the Senate on October 19, 2006, and is set to be reconciled with the House version in the bicameral conference.

“Filipinos deserve to have their votes counted as they were cast. I’m observing here in the US to gather irrefutable proof that automation is the way to make this happen,” he said.

By Veronica Uy
INQ7.net Last updated 05:13pm (Mla time) 11/08/2006