Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

2010 poll automation uncertain -- Gordon

THE fate of the 2010 poll automation is uncertain since the Commission on Elections has yet to submit a supplemental budget for Congress’ approval to implement the computerization of next year’s presidential elections.

Sen. Richard Gordon has lamented that the full automation of the 2010 presidential polls remains hanging despite the law that mandates the Comelec to automate the elections.

“Right now, it isn’t clear whether automation is possible for the 2010 elections since there is no supplemental budget yet submitted by the Comelec to Congress,” said Gordon, author of Republic Act (RA) 9369 or the poll automation law.

“Automating our elections signals that we are taking steps towards truly modernizing our democracy. It would be a great misfortune if the automation will not push through unless a supplemental budget is submitted to and acted by Congress,” he added.

Gordon is hopeful that the poll automation would ensure a clean, honest and credible election that would finally bring closure instead of further causing division in the country.

He said that the present manual system is “open to abuse” and the long period it takes to get results encourages “dagdag-bawas” (vote padding/shaving) and other forms of electoral fraud.

The full automation of the 2010 elections will help Comelec redeem itself from waning public trust and confidence on the electoral exercises.

“The full automation of the 2010 elections is a game-changer because it will not only elevate the country’s electoral exercise from third to first world class but also erase public suspicion that the Filipino people’s sacrosanct votes would be stolen from them,” Gordon said.

“The automation sends a strong signal that massive cheating that often marred the country’s electoral exercises would no longer be easily carried out. It would also discourage malfeasance within the Comelec,” he added. By: Bernadette E. Tamayo - jOURNAL ONLINE

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