Remember how “sweatshops” in the Philippines figured “prominently in the manufacture of U.S. voting machines”? If you’re wondering how the Philippines will automate its own elections come 2010, here are some videos showing the automated systems in action:
If you haven’t noticed, the “automated” in this elections actually involves the tabulation of votes, not the actual casting of votes. Voters will be given pre-printed ballots, where they will mark their preferred candidates by shading the circles under the names of their choice. Ballots are then fed into a voting district counting machine, where votes are automatically tallied and forwarded to municipal and national servers. The counting machines will transmit election returns encrypted, and will print out eight copies for the various political parties and voting watchdogs to cross-check manually.
In case you haven’t noticed, the election automation involves Smartmatic International, which has implemented automated elections in the US, Mexico, Venezuela, Barbados, Spain, Taiwan, and of course the Philippines. It has faced controversy while handling the 2004 recall vote in Venezuela, so local agents have stepped up a campaign to educate the electorate and convince them of the process’ integrity at bagongbotante.ph.
Have you ever cast your votes through an automated system? Feel free to share your experience below.