MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) contractor for the country’s first-ever automated national and local polls on May 10 is making a “bargain offer” to the Philippine government for the purchase of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in the voting.
Comelec Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said Smartmatic Philippines was offering the 80,000 PCOS machines leased by the poll body for the elections for P2 billion.
Sarmiento, however, said the Comelec was not bound to buy the PCOS machines or hire Smartmatic’s services again for the 2013 midterm national and local elections. He said the poll body was not ruling out the possibility of using new voting technology that may be cheaper or better than Smartmatic’s.
After reading Parts 1-3 of ‘Another COMELEC-Smartmatic Brand of Automated Election System?’, I would side with Commissioner Sarmiento’s remark that the COMELEC might use a new voting technology.
It is less likely that the next elections could still have something similar to EDSA 3 (Election Day Support for Aquino III) that could cover up the many infirmities of the May 2010 automated elections.