Election Universe

Philippine electronic count “almost perfect”

Philippine electronic count “almost perfect”
June 16 2016, 14:51

Automated elections in the Philippines got a boost when an election watchdog announced that its random manual (RMA) showed a 99.8% match between the electronic count and the manual count.

“It is already high,” said Tammy Lipana of the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), adding that “there is no perfect system, but as we can see, it is generally credible already.”

Namfrel was tapped by the country’s poll body Commission on Elections (Comelec) to conduct the audit for the 2016 elections.

“Almost perfect,” said statistician Flor Barona, describing the audit result, noting that “the vote counting machines are counting correctly.”

Namfrel attributed the .2% variance to several reasons, namely some voters shading the wrong parts of the ballot, or otherwise shading inadequately, resulting in a discrepancy between machine and human appreciation.

“You will see the difference how humans and machines appreciate the ballot,” Lipana said.

Due to these instances, Namfrel said it is studying whether to recommend that Comelec lower the threshold to enable the machines to read even the faintest marks.

The Philippines recently held a national and local elections which has been widely regarded as a success for the record-breaking speed with which the results were electronically transmitted and the winners officially declared. These elections were the third national elections using technology to register and count votes and process results.