Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Post - Election Evaluation and Strategic Planning Seminar and Workshop

The Commission on Elections of General Santos City, conducted a two days seminar and workshop regarding the Post-Election Evaluation and Strategic Planning, this seminar headed by the City Election Officer/Acting PES-South Cotabato, Atty. Jose M. Villanueva, and Facilitated by Mr. Rodolfo De Leon, Jr.

Our participants involved with different entities, the eight (8) districts of Department of Education, DILG, PNP, Task Force Gensan, OLPGV, Treasurers Office and COMELEC General Santos City, Sarangani Province and South Cotabato.

Atty. Michael C. Abas, on his short-talk, he introduce the new adopted correct Electronic System used during the full automation of the ARMM elections last August 11, 2008, such as: The Optical Mark Reader (OMR) Technology and Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Technology.

The Automated Counting Machine (ACM) is a machine which uses the Optical Mark-Sense Reader (OMR) system to count the votes in the ballots. It is composed of 2 Laptops, 2 Digital Scanners, 2 card readers, 1 hub and 1 printer. In automated elections using ACMs, the voter is given a paper ballot containing the candidate’s names with corresponding ovals to shade. The votes in the shaded ballots will then be scanned and counted using the ACM.

This system makes use of ballots, considering the fact that it is already familiar to most members of the electorate, this system was recommended as the most suitable for the Philippine setting. With the use of centralized counting centers, a ballot counter could be assigned to count the ballots from several precincts, or even from a whole municipality, depending on the number of registered voters.

The Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) system, the voter is presented with a screen showing all the names of the candidates. To cast his vote, the voter has to touch the name of the candidate of his choice on the screen, or on a separate electronic ballot to be attached to the voting machine, and his vote automatically gets counted. Once the voter has confirmed his vote, the machine will print out a copy of his vote, which the voter will deposit in the ballot box.

In an automated system, counting will no longer be done by the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI). In an OMR system, the paper ballots will be brought to a central counting center where they will be fed into a counting machine and print out election returns. In a DRE system, the voting machines will count the votes stored in its internal memory and print out election returns.

This is the easiest way of proclamation of the winning candidates, only one day or three days to take and the results of the votes immediately appeared.

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