The Philippine government spent some 600 million pesos (US$13.6 million) in its 1st implementation of a computerized election during the last August 11, 2008 ARMM Election. This served as the test-pilot for the country's general elections in 2010. Despite minor technical glitches, irregularities existed that included vote buying, hauling of voters, authentication, double registrants, ghost voters, not using indelible ink, “coaching” whom to vote, the presence of Army and police officers inside polling places, and others.
The Comelec (Commission of Election) used two electronic voting systems for the polls: DRE (direct recording electronic) system for the province of Maguindanao, and OMR (optical mark reader) technology for the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Shariff Kabunsuan and Lanao del Sur. Although only in some parts of the troubled Mindanao region, the Commission was determined to take the e-voting system into trial. Using low tech transport, they delivered the high tech equipment by land, see, horse and carabao.
The trial was perceived a success but greater preparation in 2010 is needed to intensify voters’ education among the grassroots; and to ensure that capability training programs are given to stakeholders in the most timely, efficient and effective manner.
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