Category Archives: election

Why has family income distribution remained unchanged for the past half-century?

Finally I found a source to explain this most unfortunate situation in the Philippines.  I have simply excerpted from the column ‘There’s the Rub’ by Conrado de Quiros entitled ‘Dagdag-bawas’ in the Philippine Daily Inquirer today, Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012.  And he was writing about the senatorial line-ups for the May 2013 elections.  <http://opinion.inquirer.net/37944/dagdag-bawas&gt;

xxxxx

I saw these things and realized that there is only one constant in our politics, or history. That is the incredible capacity of the elite, political and social, to survive. That is the incredible capacity of the elite to mend their differences, however those differences seem stark at one point, and find a new lease on life. That is the incredible capacity of the elite to come together and build a united front against a common enemy, which is change. (highlighting mine)

It was so then, it is so now.

xxxxx

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under election, income distribution, Philippines, statistics

Another COMELEC-Smartmatic Brand of Automated Election System? Part 4

From: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20101230-311649/Smartmatic-offers-deal-on-PCOS-machines

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under election, Philippines

Another COMELEC-Smartmatic Brand of Automated Election System? Part 3

[Note:  The annexes are not attached to this post.]

Introduction

I wrote a piece on Murphy’s Law shadowing every step of the automated election, with particular emphasis on the voter’s interface with the technology. I will revisit these issues, plus the PCOS and queuing, ex-future manual counts as well as provide some assessments coming from other citizen groups on the other aspects of this brand of technology chosen by the COMELEC.

Forensics on the Antipolo PCOS

Report of the Joint Forensic Team

This report is prepared pursuant to the forensic analysis conducted on

the Precinct Count Optical Scanner (PCOS) machines currently in the

possession of the Senate of the Philippines. The forensic analysis was

conducted from June 4‐5, 2010 at the A. Padilla Hall of the Senate of the

Philippines and on June 7, 2010 at the Smartmatic warehouse in Cabuyao,

Laguna.

Background.

On June 01, 2010, the Joint Canvassing Committee (JCC) requested the

forensic analysis of the sixty (60) PCOS machines, which are in the custody of

the Senate of the Philippines. The said forensic analysis would consist of

fourteen (14) items, the list of which was promptly forwarded to the

Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on an even date.

On June 02, 2010, the COMELEC consented to the requested forensic

analysis through a letter[1] addressed to the Senate’s Secretary, Ms. Emma Lirio

Reyes. During the joint canvassing session of the same date, Sen. Juan Miguel

Zubiri announced the creation of a joint forensic team consisting of

representatives from the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Those named to the joint forensic team were:

1. Director Mario Sulit, Senate of the Philippines

2. Ms. Angelina Garcia, House of Representatives

3. Atty. Al. S. Vitangcol III, House of Representatives

4. Mr. Dexter Laggui, House of Representatives

The following day, June 03, 2010, the joint forensic team met with

Smartmatic’s representative, Mr. Heider Garcia, at the office of the House

Speaker. Mr. Garcia agreed to the items as presented by the team. The

forensic team was further expanded to include other members coming from

the IT Department of the House[2].

The supposed subject of the forensic analysis are some sixty (60) units

of PCOS machines, which were turned over to the office of the Senate

President on May 19, 2010 12:00AM, duly received by the Senate Sergeant‐at‐

Arms, MGen. Jose V. Balajadia, Jr. AFP(Ret), from COMELEC Election Officer IV,

Atty. Arnulfo Pioquinto. Also submitted was a detailed inventory of the

machines, consisting of eighteen (18) pages[3].

However, due to the time constraints involved and other disturbances[4],

including the insistence of Smartmatic for all those present to sign a Non‐

Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and the objections of some guests from the

viewing public, the forensic examination was conducted on only thirty three

(33) units of PCOS machines and thirty one (31) pieces of Compact Flash (CF)

memory cards.

Objectives of the Forensic Analysis.

The objectives of the forensic analysis are to determine the following:

1. Whether or not the subject PCOS machines are authentic,

meaning one and the same as the ones used by Smartmatic in

the May 10, 2010 automated elections.

2. Whether or not the subject machines contain hidden and/or

secret components that may be used for committing electoral

fraud.

3. Whether or not the CF cards are genuine, authentic, and have

been used in the May 10, 2010 automated elections.

4. Whether or not the CF cards contain hidden and/or deleted

files.

5. Analyze and interpret the contents of the CF cards.

The source code of the embedded program in the firmware of the PCOS

machines was not retrieved because of technical limitations and unavailability

of tools necessary to extract the same.

The SIM cards of the modems were never subjected to forensic analysis

due to time limitations.

Conduct of the Forensic Analysis.

The legal authority to open and analyze the PCOS machines was

established by the order of the JCC, and the acceptance of COMELEC. Thus,

the members of the forensic team were fully authorized to conduct the said

analysis and considered free from any liability, of whatsoever nature, from

Smartmatic, the COMELEC, or any third party.

Prior to subjecting the machines to forensic analysis, the chain of

custody was properly documented using the appropriate Chain of

Custody/Evidence Form.[5]

Evidence intake was conducted, in full public view, by performing the

following on each and every unit of PCOS machine:

1. The box of the PCOS machine was described prior to opening.

2. The box was opened using a board cutter.

3. The contents of the box were announced and described as they

were being taken out of the carton container.

4. The PCOS machine was appropriately tagged, labeled and

photographed.

5. The PCOS machine was inspected for signs of tampering and

damage.

6. The PCOS machine was examined for the presence of CF cards.

a. If a CF card was present, the CF card was duplicated

using a bit stream copy and its image stored in a

forensically prepared storage.

b. The image of the CF card was analyzed for hidden and

deleted files in a forensically sound manner.

c. The files of the CF card were subjected to timeline

analysis to establish when the files were created,

modified, and/or last accessed.

d. The original CF card was reinserted in the PCOS

machine and sealed in its compartment.

7. The date and time of the PCOS machine’s internal clock was

established by running a utility program provided by

Smartmatic.

8. All the items in the box, after proper documentation, were

returned into the box and properly sealed with a masking tape.

9. The sealed box was returned to the custody of the Senate.

Two (2) PCOS machines were opened and cut apart, with the help of a

Smartmatic technician, away from public view. The forensic team noted and

identified the chipset[6] and other electronic components of the dissected PCOS

machine. The machines were then reassembled by the Smartmatic technician

and returned to their corresponding boxes.

The first recovered log file[7] from a main CF card was then viewed and

interpreted, with the help of Smartmatic representatives. Other human

readable files were then reduced to a Portable Data Format (PDF) and

preserved for future use.

On June 7, 2010, the forensic team went to Smartmatic’s warehouse in

Cabuyao, Laguna to decrypt and interpret the encrypted files found in the CF

cards. The subjects of the Cabuyao exercise are the one (1) and only main CF

card and two (2) randomly selected backup CF cards.

Images of the ballots cast, as stored in the main CF card, were

decrypted and viewed by the forensic team. However, not all of the ballot

images were shown because of the restrictions imposed by COMELEC.

Description of Technical Procedures.

The forensic analysis conducted on the CF cards are more particularly

described in the next paragraphs.

Evidence assessment. This step includes prioritizing the potential

evidence where necessary based on the location where the evidence is found

and the stability of the media to be examined. This further includes how to

document the evidence, protection and preservation of the evidence.

Thus, forensic analysis of the main CF card was prioritized over the

backup CF cards. The CF cards were properly documented using the forensic

team’s Chain of Custody Form. These cards were subjected to imaging and

the original cards preserved.

Imaging. Imaging is the process of duplicating and acquiring the files

from a subject storage device to a forensically clean storage device. This also

involves creating a known value for the subject evidence by performing an

independent check like MD5 hashing. Examination is then conducted on the

acquired digital image and not on the original evidence.

Images of the CF cards were stored on two (2) forensically cleaned and

encrypted hard disks, running on a Linux‐based Uvuntu operating system. The

images are named corresponding to the physical serial numbers of the CF

cards.

Data hiding analysis. This step can be useful in detecting and

recovering concealed and deleted data.

The subject CF cards’ images were subjected to this particular analysis.

Timeframe analysis. This type of analysis can be useful in determining

when events occurred on a computer system, which can be used as a part of

associating usage of the computer system to an individual/s at the time the

events occurred. The methods for conducting timeframe analysis consist of

reviewing the time and date stamps contained in the file system metadata

(e.g. last modified, last accessed, created, change of status) to link files of

interest to the timeframe relevant to the investigation. This methodology also

includes reviewing the system, application, or audit logs that may be present.

In the present investigation, all the recovered files in the CF cards’

images were subjected to timeframe analysis. A sample timeframe analysis is

included with this report[8].

The results of the timeframe analysis can then be compared with the

available system and audit logs of the same CF card under analysis.

Summary of Findings.

The findings of the joint forensic team are presented herein in a most

factual manner, without making any undue interpretation thereon.

The statistics and percentages cited are based on the examined size of

thirty three (33) units and not on the full sixty (60) units of PCOS machines.

On Tampered PCOS Machines

Ocular inspection revealed that there is one (1) unit that was

physically tampered with. The card slots were misaligned

preventing the insertion of CF cards.

3.03%

Presence of Main CF Cards

One (1) main CF card was found, which should have been submitted

with other election paraphernalia to the COMELEC.

3.03%

Presence of Backup CF Cards

Three (3) of the PCOS machines do not have the required backup CF

cards with them. Each and every PCOS machine, at the end of

election day, should have one backup CF card with it.

9.09%

Sealed Card Slots

Nineteen (19) of the units have memory card slots that were not

sealed at all. The card slots, as required, should be sealed with

plastic COMELEC cable ties.

57.58%

Presence of ibutton keys

Ten (10) units do not have the required i‐button keys. In fact, there

were two (2) instances where the i‐button key was colored black.

The i‐buttons for BEIs are supposedly colored blue. Black i‐button

keys are used by Smartmatic technicians only. For that matter, the

black i‐button key can be used to open any PCOS machine by any

person possessing it.

30.30%

Thermal Paper with COMELEC Logo

Thirty (30) units of PCOS machines used thermal papers without the

required COMELEC logo. Only three (3) units used thermal papers

with the COMELEC logo on them.

90.91%

Transmission Device

Twenty (20) of the units do not have their own modems for

transmission. This means that these units used another unit’s

modem for transmission.

60.61%

CF Cards Forensic Analysis

The sole blue main CF card was completely imaged and analyzed. Forensic

analysis revealed that the card is authentic and contains three (3) folders with

fifteen (15) items, to wit:

Folder dcf

DCF_BALLOT.DVD

DCF_INTEGERS.DVD

DCF_OPTIONS.DVD

DCF_STRINGS.DVD

Folder election

dvscomm.cfg

VIF.DVD

VIF_BALLOT_INSTANCE.DVD

VIF_BALLOT_LAYOUT.DVD

VIF_CHOICE_INSTANCE.DVD

VIF_CONTEST.DVD

VIF_CONTEST_INSTANCE.DVD

VIF_ELECTION.DVD

VIF_PARTY.DVD

VIF_POLL.DVD

Folder temp

Emsession.pkf

Icpsession.pkf

1_5802236_5802236_TABULATED.DVD

busage

1_5802236_5802236_0_RAW.DVD

NR.txt

LR.txt

510Res

Restrans

Slog.txt

Stats.txt

Time frame analysis revealed an intriguing fact.  The last ten (10) files were all modified on May 10, 2010 but were last accessed on two (2) othr dates – September 28, 2064 and January 28, 2065.  No plausible explanation can be offered for these two (2) future dates.

The file slog.txt was printed out[9] and its entries analyzed.

The log reveled that there was a SCANNER FAILED (70001)[10] entry during diagnostics and that the said diagnostics in fact failed – COMPLETE DIAGNOSTICS FAILED entry.[11]

A number of ballot scanning failure can be noted on the log file.  The log file showed that there was a total of 103 ballot rejections out of a total of 385 votes cast.  This is a high rejection rate of 26.75 %.  The total number of registered voters is 574.

A number of over-voting and under-voting, resulting in null votes, can also be deciphered from the subject log file.  In order to fully reconcile the log file with the actual votes, the main CF card was decrypted at Smartmatic’s Cabuyao warehouse.

Reconciliation of the vontents of the CF card showed the following oveer-voting and under-voting statistics:

Postion Over-voting Under-voting
President 6 1
Vice-President 5 6
Senators 132 921
Party List 27 38
Congressman 18 13
Governor 6 53
Mayor 6 14

A total of twenty eight (28) red backup CF cards were completely imaged and readied for analysis.  One (1) of these cards is totally empty or blank.  The other cards are yet to be analyzed, pending the resumption of the forensic analysis – subject ot the approval of the JCC.

Recommendations and Conclusions

Forensic analysis was done on a limited number of PCOS machines and CF cards, further constrained by time and resource factors.

Thef indings of the forensic analysis are still incomplete – pending the completion of the analysis of the remaining CF cards.  Thus, no solid conclusion can be made based on this incomplete foresnsic analysis.

Thus, it is recommended to the JCC to order and allow the Joint Forensic Team to continue with the analysis and examination of the remaining twenty-seven (27) units of PCOS machines, and additionally perform the following:

1.      Extract the source code of the embedded program in the firmware of the PCOS machine or its hash code.  This was not done because Smartmatic claimed that the machine’s console port is an outright port only and is used for error messages only.  However, the forensic team felt that the PCOS machine can be queried, accessed, and manipulated through the consoloe port.

2.      Conduct forensic analysis on the SIM cards of the modems to establish its usage and transmissions.

3.      Perform a full comparison of the ballot images in the sole main CF card with the generated Election Return from the same CF card – without any restriction from the COMELEC.  This restriction has hampered the Joint Forensic Team from fully conducting their mandated forensic analysis on the subject CF cards.

It is further recommended to the JCC to request the Senate to provide additional security measures so as not to allow the viewing public, other guests, and the media, from co-mingling with the Joint Forensic Team so as not to duly burden the latter in its work.

Prepared by Atty. Al S. Vitangcol III, CHFI, for the Joint Forensic team.

June 7, 2010.

Atty. Vitangcol also volunteered the information that each provincial COMELEC officer was allotted spare 20 CF cards.  The reason for this nor, their actual use is unknown to this date.


[1] Annex “A” – Letter of Atty. Tolentino of COMELEC to Sec. Emma Lirio Reyes of the Senate

[2] List of the members of the Joint Forensic Team included here as Annex “B”

[3] Annex “C” hereof.

[4] Transfer of Stenographic Notes of the June 4, 2010 session is hereto enclosed as Annex “D”.

[5] Included herewith as Annex “E”

[6] Chipset part numbers and description are listed in Annex “F”

[7] The printed log file of the one and only main CF card is enclosed herewith as Annex “G”.

[8] Annex “H”

[9] See Annex ‘G’

[10] Line 12, Page 5, slog.txt

[11] Line 13, Page 5, slog.txt

Leave a comment

Filed under election, Philippines

Another COMELEC-Smartmatic Brand of Automated Election System? Part 2

Introduction

I wrote a piece on Murphy’s Law shadowing every step of the automated election, with particular emphasis on the voter’s interface with the technology. I will revisit these issues, plus the PCOS and queuing, ex-future manual counts as well as provide some assessments coming from other citizen groups on the other aspects of this brand of technology chosen by the COMELEC.

The Military, as seen by International Observers

Observations on the General Elections in the Philippines 2010: Final Report To Compact for Peaceful and Democratic Elections (COMPACT) and Community Empowerment Resource Network Inc /Taskforce Participatory Local Governance (CERNET INC. / TF PLG) By Dr. Heiko Meinhardt (Head of Mission), Lilli Breininger, Jack Catarata, Michael Reckordt, Niklas Reese, Kai Rohrssen and Katharina Stahlenbrecher.  11th June 2010

Maguindanao

Nevertheless there was a common understanding amongst the stakeholders that the 2010 elections have been a relative success compared to former elections. On the one hand electoral violence was minimized throughout the province, unlike in former elections the security forces (AFP and PNP) have acted in a non-partisan way and were generally perceived as helpful, even crucial for a rather peaceful conduct of the elections. Even civil society members were highlighting the decent, respectful and professional behavior of AFP and PNP.

….

The role of the national security personnel, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), was to support the COMELEC to secure the designated places. But they also helped in distributing the PCOS machines, the flash cards and secured the clustered precincts before Election Day. On Election Day, they were present outside of some precincts, when their help was asked by the BEIs. Aside from security measures their task was also to calm down the people, who were queuing in front of the precincts.   Nevertheless there were also cases reported, where the PNP did not fulfill their neutral role.

Some People’s Evaluation of Elections

———————-

From Gus Lagman

Why didn’t it fail? First, the teachers, who were the members of the Boards of Election Inspectors (BEI), performed extremely well. Theirs was a Herculean task, fraught with all kinds of problems, yet they delivered. We truly must salute them. Second, the voters were determined to make the system work. They so wanted their voices to be heard, their votes to be counted, that they stayed on despite the very long queues at the precincts. I definitely subscribe to Conrad de Quiros’ interpretation of this current political situation as being an EDSA masquerading as an election. And third, a large logistics company with a wide geographic coverage came in the last minute, to help deliver more than 50% of the PCOS machines and later, the re-configured CF cards.

What saved the day for us was the large margin of Noynoy Aquino in the surveys. There was no way the public would have accepted contrary results. If only for this, there’s reason to keep running those surveys. Without them, any result would have to be accepted, no matter how disappointing, for there wouldn’t be any basis for contradicting it and launching protest action.

The voter turn-out, according to the COMELEC, was around 75%. That’s 5-10% short of expectations. This translates to 2.5 to 5 million voters who, because of inefficient precinct clustering, might have been disenfranchised.

From the Kaakbay Partylist

MAJOR VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW BY THE COMELEC IN IMPLEMENTING THE AUTOMATED ELECTION SYSTEM IN MAY 10, 2010

From the reports of Cong. Locsin’s Committee and the Joint Forensic Team for the Joint Canvassing Committee of Congress; and the SC and Ombudsman petitions of Atty. Adaza and PCS President Celis, here is a summary of the major violations of the law by Comelec in implementing the Automated Election System. Hope this serves as a guide in our search for truth and justice in the exercise of our right to suffrage. Please pass to friends who care. Thanks.

To view the Summary in Table Form and the Complaint-Affidavit of the Philippine Computer Society (PCS) against Comelec Officials at the Ombudsman, please check the following links and download the files:

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=c83e06e1eeda20b0d8f14848abf485dd7504ec2bc0fa63b7b16e5c9d3b204475

OBSERVATIONS / ASSESSMENTS OF THESE VIOLATIONS BY COMELEC

COMELEC’s non compliance with the law resulted in a completely untested and unaudited system. The only testing made was at the precinct level and used in conjunction with sporadic voter training. No system testing was made with the Boards of Canvassers for the municipal, city, provincial and national levels. No testing was also made to determine whether the voting continuity and contingency measures were realizable.

As a result, it led to the following problems, difficulties, irregularities and inaccuracies during the elections:

1.               Long queues of voters waiting to vote for more than 3 hours in order to locate their precincts, resulting in 3 to 5 million disenfranchised voters.

2.               Erroneous count of 253 million registered voters in the Server of the House of Representatives.

3.               Failure to read 3 to 4 million “null” votes recorded nationwide.

4.               Printed election returns containing dates before, during and after 10 May 2010 and printed on credit cards thermal papers.

Many election returns showed only 10 votes from about 500 to 600 actual voters, indicating that

5.               These returns were based on test ballots prior to Final Testing and Sealing of the PCOS machines.

6.               Electoral protests at various levels in 41 provinces and cities. The congressional inquiry at the House of Representatives (Locsin hearing) “showed that there was electoral fraud committed, and substantiated by documentary evidence, with COMELEC and Smartmatic, keeping the public in the dark about the many ways one could cheat through the machines, the many irregularities and last minute changes in orders coming from COMELEC that provided many opportunities to cheat and manipulate the votes for favored candidates.”

POINT 1. The PCOS machine uses an Ultra Violet (UV) Security Mark Sensor to determine the genuineness of a ballot. Prior to the elections, this UV Sensor was disabled by COMELEC.

The Locsin hearing confirmed that SMARTMATIC provided all the paper, UV ink, and several printing machines for National Printing Office (NPO) to print the ballots. Ms. Grace Enriquez of NPO and Mr. Flores of Smartmatic confirmed that the PCOS cannot read the UV ink printed ballots because of the lessened density of the UV ink due to the heightened printing speed to meet the printing deadline.

Instead, COMELEC immediately purchased some 76,000+ handheld UV readers that were not used during the elections.

POINT 2. In the Locsin hearing, it was confirmed that the Compact Flash (CF) cards of the PCOS can allow the reinsertion and acceptance of already scanned ballots. Later, both Ms. Quimson of Navigation Information and Mr. Flores said that scanned or previously read ballots can be re-fed into the computers even without a change of CF card.

There was no way to know whether the ballots read during the elections were genuine or fake.

POINT 3. The Joint Forensic Team, commissioned by the Joint Canvassing Committee reported June 9, 2010 the discovery that the PCOS machines have a controlling CONSOLE PORT which allowed the unsecured vulnerability of the PCOS machines to manipulation and open to malicious control and electoral fraud.

Through an unsecured (that is, with no username and password) connection of a laptop, the laptop was able to access the operating system of the PCOS machine. Smartmatic was not able to offer a technical explanation to this major security breach loophole.

The Namfrel terminal report, released July 2, 2010, said the random manual audit of certain precincts showed that the degree of variance was less than what was the required 99.995 percent accuracy. The overall performance of the machine is 99.35 percent accuracy, which was below the required 99.995 percent.  Extrapolating this percentage to 76,340 precincts, it will amount to about 345,000 ballots inaccurately read.

The digital signature is the primary feature to determine the authenticity and verifiability of the election returns from the precincts. Thus, the Contract specified these as the second main deliverable of Smartmatic.

POINT 1. COMELEC issued Resolution 8786 March 4, 2010 that no longer required the use of digital signatures. The Resolution stated:

“WHEREAS, there is a need to amend or revise portions of Resolution No. 8739 in order to fine tune the process and address procedural gaps;
SEC. 40. Counting of ballots and transmission of results
f) Thereafter, the PCOS shall automatically count the votes and immediately display a message “WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIGITALLY SIGN THE TRANSMISSION FILES WlTH A BEI SIGNATURE KEY?”, with a “YES” or ‘NO” option;
g) Press “NO” option.
The PCOS will display “ARE YOU SURE YOU DO NOT WANT TO APPLY A DIGlTAL SIGNATURE?” with a “YES” and “NO” option;
h) Press “YES” option.”

POINT 2. The Locsin Report stated: “14. The digital signature—only of a particular PCOS—and not of the BEI person herself was conceded as being, for practical but not legal purposes, sufficient compliance with the intent of the E-Commerce and Automated Election laws. The Chair argued that a PCOS [or machine] digital signature serves equally as the digital signature of the BEI who has custody of the machine because it is possible to link one to the other.”

POINT 3. The Joint Forensic Report however proved that such practical purposes were not true, as there were no such digital signatures. The Report stated:

“ Absence of Machine Digital Signatures
Examination of the PCOS machines revealed that there was no evidence found to prove the existence of digital certificates in the PCOS machines, contrary to the claims of Smartmatic. The technicians of Smartmatic were not able to show to the forensic team the machine version of the digital signature, alleging that they do not have the necessary tools to show the same. More so, they were at a quandary as to how to extract the said machine signatures— to the dismay of the forensic team.

If there are digital certificates, then these were supposed to be revealed. The forensic team tried to extract the digital signatures but to no avail. Hence, the forensic team is of the opinion that there exists no digital signature in the PCOS machine.”

POINT 4. Without the digital signatures (whether that of the PCOS or the BEI), there is no way to check in the CCS servers in the municipality, city, province and national to know which PCOS machine (authorized or unauthorized) is transmitting to their CCS servers.

This is crucial with the discovery of 60 PCOS machines and 2 Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) in Antipolo in the house of a Smartmatic technician (who could not show any authority for safekeeping, back up and to which CCS he is transmitting), and the subject of the Forensic team’s investigation.

POINT 5. As proven above, there were no digital signatures used in all level of the AES. Therefore, the Board of Canvassers themselves, from the municipal, city, provinces and national canvassing centers, cannot authenticate, duly execute and certify the Certificates of Canvass they transmit electronically to the higher levels of canvassing.

Thus, all the BOC proclamations are null and void from the beginning.

The voter had no way to check whether the PCOS correctly read and recorded his vote choices.

No Statement of Votes (SOV) accompanied the Certificates of Canvass (COC). The SOV is the details of the votes by precincts (indicated in the election returns) by which the summary votes of each candidate in the COC can be verified and checked.

COMELEC stated that it will take some time to print 10,000 SOV recorded in the CCS servers of the Board of Canvassers.

The results of 30 RMA precincts were released and announced as of 15 May 2010.

Last 20 May, COMELEC announced results of about 300 RMA precincts were completed with few discrepancies.

In the Locsin hearing, Amb. de Villa of PPCRV reported the partial results of the RMA. Out of the 1,145 randomly selected precincts, 845 precincts have already submitted reports, 15 precincts’ results were in transit leaving 285 precincts with no results yet.

As of this writing, COMELEC has not published the results of this Random Manual Audit.

SysTest Lab submitted a report with some 4,000 comments for action by COMELEC. No official announcement by COMELEC whether these SysTest comments were addressed.

The lack of transparency by the COMELEC made the Supreme Court to order COMELEC to produce the relevant documentation on these items.

Tests were conducted only at precinct level, none at the municipal, city, provincial and national.

The Joint Forensic Team reported that “the hash codes for the firmware residing in the 6 PCOS machines found in Antipolo have the same SMA256 output … However, a thorough comparison with the official document posted in the COMELEC website revealed that the published hash code is not the same as the extracted one [from the PCOS machines.”

This indicates that the computer programs in the PCOS machines have been altered.

For all documents related to the Automated Election System (AES):
http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=c83e06e1eeda20b0d8f14848abf485dd1e97232231037841759e682a8cd2154a

For all documents related to Critique of the AES:
http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=c83e06e1eeda20b0d8f14848abf485dd1e972322310378414df0d6082f1c2cd0

2 Comments

Filed under election, Philippines

Another COMELEC-Smartmatic Brand of Automated Election System? Part 1

[Note:  My apologies for the formatting concerns that I could not address.  I can provide the full tables upon request.]

Introduction

I wrote a piece on Murphy’s Law shadowing every step of the automated election, with particular emphasis on the voter’s interface with the technology. I will revisit these issues, plus the PCOS and queuing, ex-future manual counts as well as provide some assessments coming from other citizen groups on the other aspects of this brand of technology chosen by the COMELEC.

1. Functional Literacy of Voters

Potential

At least 15 percent of the population 10-64 years old is not functionally literate. A functionally literate person is one who can read, write and compute or one who can read, write, compute and comprehend.   I posited that with lack of adequate voter education, the traditional ballot wherein a voter fills in the blanks with the names of their chosen candidates would be ‘friendlier’ even for those who can only read and write.  With the new ballot, problems such as overvoting [voting for more than the required number of candidates for a particular position] and improper shading are bound to arise.

Actual

In an interview by Manolo Quezon of Anna Tabunda of Pulse Asia last May 3, http://www.quezon.ph/2010/05/09/lost-in-the-counting/ she related that she went through the sample ballots respondents used during the surveys to find out the incidence of improper shading and overvoting.

  • With regards to improper shading, 12% nationally or 4 million votes will have difficulty with the ‘new’ ballot in actual conditions.  Particularly high incidents of improper shading was registered among older voters and in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4A, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 12.  This finding is potentially very significant for candidates strong in the Visayas.
  • More or less 2% of presidential and vice-presidential votes suffered from overvoting, which would void the votes cast for the positions in actual conditions: potentially 400,000 votes based on an 80% turnout rate.
  • Most crucial was her finding that 3% of senatorial votes represented overvoting. This could have drastic results for the actual standing of candidates.

2. Printing and Distributing the Ballot

Potential

The printing of 50 million ballots with more than 1600 varying candidate sets [combination of national and local candidates] is a momentous challenge even for the National Printing Office.  Can you imagine the distribution system that would deliver the right ballot forms to the right legislative districts, with no room for error?  99 percent accuracy in the delivery of ballots is not acceptable since voters in one district or municipality cannot vote for their candidates in ballots intended for another place.

Actual

  • Samar ballots wrongly delivered to Iloilo. [via @sunstaronline] [14:48]
  • Voting halted in Iloilo town due to wrong ballots http://bit.ly/cSis1b [via @inquirerdotnet] [14:20]

3. Filling up the Ballot and Feeding into the PCOS Machine

Potential

The size of the ballot, according to COMELEC, is “8 ½ inches by 26 inches [lately trimmed down to 25 inches] and some 50 million.   The ballots would be color-coded and printed back-to-back with the names of the candidates. The national candidates will be found on the front, while the local candidates will be on the back.

OMR technology is used to detect shaded ovals or boxes that correspond to answers (or votes for a particular candidate). But shadings should completely cover each distinct oval or box and should not stray to the adjacent ones; otherwise the machine will reject the form or ballot.

Actual

Timestamp Name Precinct Number AND Cluster Precinct # Name of School, Municipality City / Province Problem encountered
5/10/2010 0:42:47 Bt Precinct # 02224 cluster # 64 Dasmarinas village, makati Makati Jammed machine!
5/10/2010 0:58:06 DZMM [none specified] Canoan Elementary School, Canoan Estancia, Iloilo 3 PCOS broken after paper jam but one was not fixed.
5/10/2010 14:04 pinoyweekly [none specified] AbraDe Ilog. Mindoro Occidental Bagong balota may naka-shade nang partylist, ulat ng Katribu Partylist pollwatchers
5/10/2010 14:17 workerswatch [none specified] Cebu Voter refuses to accept shaded ballot; BEI fed it to the PCOS before giving the voter a clean ballot
5/10/2010 15:41 mindanaoan [none specified] Malaybalay City Bukidnon lots of ballots got rejected. unfortunately, the voters have ALREADY PLACED THEIR THUMBMARKS
5/10/2010 16:00:26 bulatlat [none specified] Taboc, San Juan La Union ballot stuck inside machine
5/10/2010 16:04:03 gmanews [none specified] Tarlac Tarlac PCOS machine stopped while reading ballot. machine shut down
5/10/2010 16:13:31 workerswatch [none specified] Bagong Silangan Quezon City PCOS machines in 3 precincts reject ballots, voters told to return later
5/10/2010 16:35:16 pinoyweekly [none specified] Bagong Silangan Quezon City ballot too wide, margins were cut to feed it to machine. happened in 4 precincts
5/10/2010 16:43:59 spirodon [none specified] Holy Spirit High School Manila paper jams in PCOS machines
5/10/2010 16:45:56 edgyboi [none specified] Pagbilao Quezon several ballots were pre-shaded, PCOS seal tampered
5/10/2010 17:23:42 gmanews [none specified] Pembo Elementary School Makati PCOS glitch due to paper jam
5/10/2010 17:40 mindanaoan [none specified] precinct 228 kauswagan CDO voter complains that he received pre-shaded ballot
5/10/2010 18:04:43 mindanaoan [none specified] Naawan Misamis Oriental PCOS machines reject ballots. BEIs realized that ballots were too wide and had to cut them
5/10/2010 18:16 coderadiophils] [none specified] Bgy. Burgos-Padlan, San Carlos City Pangasinan may ballots na may shade na bago pa man bumoto ang voter  -EO

4. PCOS Machines and Queuing Issues

Potential

Optical mark recognition (OMR) is the scanning of paper to detect the presence or absence of a mark (e.g. shaded box) in a predetermined position. It evolved from the IBM punch cards of old where punched holes were sorted to represent information. OMR is the simplest of commonly available form processing technologies (e.g. Lotto tickets). OMR equipment has been available for many years and has nowadays reached very good levels of reliability. But OMR has relatively stringent requirements for the successful processing of the paper forms. Thus, countries with very dusty or humid climates and poor transport infrastructures are discouraged from using OMR. Special questionnaire/ballot design restrictions include the quality of the paper along with precise specifications regarding the printing and cutting of the sheets.

Precincts have been re-configured into clusters of one thousand (1000) registered voters who will go through one (1) PCOS machine.  With voting hours from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm, there would be theoretically 1000 voters to use 1 machine in eleven (11) hours.  Note that only the list was expanded but the polling place, usually a public school classroom, – that is, in the past for two hundred (200) voters -. remains the same but this time for 1000 individuals.

Actual

Example from former Department of Education Undersecretary Mike Luz:

Finally voted in Bacolod as number 303 of about 1000 in Cluster 286 after a wait of over 4 hours (1:50 p.m.). Earlier was given waiting number 418.  If only 303 of 418 (up to his earlier assigned number) voted, then 115 must have gotten tired of waiting and left.  That’s a 27.5 percent drop-out rate.  If this is a typical take-up rate (72.5%) all over the country, this election could have a lower voting rate than in the past.

Table of Voters’ Messages to Election Watch  on http://bayanihan0nline.wordpress.com
Timestamp Name Precinct # & Cluster Precinct # Name of School, Municipality City / Province Problem encountered
5/10/2010 0:31:02 coderadiophils [none specified] Juan Sumulong Elementary School Antipolo machine not working
5/10/2010 0:32:04 Bian Villanueva [none specified] Hacienda Luisita Tarlac 2nd machine that broke down as of 2:39pm
5/10/2010 0:33:32 workerswatch [none specified] Gulod, Novaliches Quezon City another PCOS machine fails
5/10/2010 0:55:26 ayliya Precinct 0384 A Cainta Rizal defective and not yet replaced as of 10:51am
5/10/2010 0:56:24 popisunga [none specified] Las Piñas Metro Manila PCOS malfunction. delayed voting for 2 or so hours
5/10/2010 16:01:15 briankingong [none specified] Lawa, Meycauayan City Bulacan 3 out of 16 PCOS machines malfunction
5/10/2010 16:04:54 kontradaya [none specified] Brgy. Guitnang Bayan 1, San Mateo Rizal PCOS machine broken. Only 9 people were able to vote as of 9am
5/10/2010 16:05:21 kontradaya [none specified] Muntinlupa Metro Manila faulty machines
5/10/2010 16:08 NBN_Ch4 [none specified] [none specified] Masbate 2 PCOS  machines caught fire during elections
5/10/2010 16:14:22 pmcalara precinct 36 San Francisco, Tigaon Camarines Sur PCOS machine not working
5/10/2010 16:15:10 briankingong 2106A-494 District 2 Quezon City PCOS machine busted
5/10/2010 16:15:53 briankingong 2106A Quezon City Metro Manila PCOS machine not working
5/10/2010 16:20:41 reklamotion Clustered precinct 200 Molino elementary school Bacoor, Cavite broken PCOS machine
5/10/2010 16:21:46 jaimehernandez Cluster 96 Brgy. San Francisco Biñan, Laguna Previously tested PCOS 3403096 now hangs
5/10/2010 16:34:02 pinoyweekly [none specified] Arellano HS, Sta. Cruz Manila broken PCOS machine
5/10/2010 16:36:19 bulatlat [none specified] Vicente Lim Elementary School Tondo, Manila Defective PCOS machine. problem started at 11:30, stopped operating at 12:42pm
5/10/2010 16:39:12 raikun07 [none specified] Sinait Ilocos one machine not functioning, but all other machines work
5/10/2010 16:40:09 coderadiophils Precinct 1175 cluster 215 Brgy. Salvacion, District 1 Quezon City PCOS machine broke down
5/10/2010 16:41:25 workerswatch [none specified] Brgy. O’Donnell, Capas Tarlac 3 PCOS machines fail
5/10/2010 16:45 bulatlat V. Mapa High School, Sta. Mesa Manila PCOS machine shut down after 176th ballot. Manual voting ongoing.
5/10/2010 16:47:05 henriah [none specified] Masbate Masbate PCOS machine caught fire
5/10/2010 16:48:08 Arlyn Cabrera Precinct#202 Sagkahan 62-A Tacloban City PCOS machine gave out, voters go home
5/10/2010 16:49:00 bulatlat [many] Oslob, Argao, Mandaue, Consolacion and other precincts Cebu City PCOS machine malfunction
5/10/2010 16:50:10 Jjaness Precinct No. 05010A,Cluster 3 Baliwasan Central School Zamboanga City PCOS machine not working
5/10/2010 17:03:11 bicolanodevil 001a, 002a, 003a Malinao Elementary School, Malinao Albay PCOS machines shut down
5/10/2010 17:11:27 Karen Ang 52A 4 Bagong Ilog Elem School Pasig BEI didn’t use UV lamp. When I asked why, she said they only use it when PCOS rejects a ballot.
5/10/2010 17:26:06 gmanews [many] Southern Leyte Leyte 35 PCOS machines experience glitches
5/10/2010 17:27:06 pinoyweekly [none specified] Guevarra Elementary School Sta. Cruz, Manila 3 PCOS machines did not function
5/10/2010 18:35:44 kontradaya [not specified] [not specified] Taguig City PCOS malfunctioned, voters sent home

5. Parallel Manual Count

Potential

Why not have the teachers count the filled-up ballots at the close of voting on Election Day? Their counts can be compared with the count from the PCOS. If the counts are the same, or if different by not more than a COMELEC-set percentage, then the results can be transmitted onward.  Otherwise, the COMELEC can decide what to do with this discrepancy.  Would you not agree that the manual count will be the more credible figure in this case?

Actual

The experience of the random manual edit exercise reveals that this would be difficult to carry out.

Random Manual Audit (from the Report of the Technical Working Group (TWG-RMA) on the Random Manual Audit of the Automated Election System (AES) in the May 2010 National and Local Elections):

The audit process included the comparison of the number of votes counted by Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine or the Automated Election System (AES) against the number of votes manually counted by the Random Manual Audit Team (RMAT) for every sample clustered precinct for the positions of President, Vice-President, Member of House of Representatives, Governor and Mayor. The difference between the AES count and RMA count, which is also referred to as the “variance” was expected to be computed for each candidate from a total of 1,145 sample clustered precincts or an equivalent to 1.5 percent of 76,347 total clustered precincts in the Philippines.

The Random Manual Audit in the 1,145 selected clustered precincts did not happen simultaneously. Since the ‘tambiolo’ system of randomly selecting the clustered polling precincts took close to twelve hours, the transmission of the results to the PES in all provinces nationwide was, as a consequence, also delayed. Many of the RMATs waiting for their assignments had gone home. Many local COMELEC offices no longer had their staff on duty. The Provincial Election Supervisors were busy with the canvassing of the votes. There were selected precincts whose ballot boxes had already been brought to the offices of the Municipal/City Treasurers. It was only in a few nearby places, or in precincts were voting ended early that the Random Manual Audit took place on Election Day itself.

The RMA Reports started coming in slowly. These were brought to the COMELEC Command Center in the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) during the first days after the May 10, 2010 elections. Later on, after the COMELEC had proclaimed the twelve (12) winning senators, and before the National Canvassing of the votes for President and Vice President commenced in the Batasan Pambansa, the PICC Command Center was dismantled. The RMA Reports were then delivered and received at the COMELEC Project Management Office in Intramuros.

The reception of the Random Manual Audit Reports from the field followed this system:

1. The copies of the RMA Report intended for the COMELEC and the TWGRMA upon delivery by the Provincial Election Supervisors (PES) or their representatives to the COMELEC Central Office in Intramuros were received by the Election Records and Statistics Department (ERSD) of the Commission.

2. The Audit Returns (ARs) and the Minutes/Reports of legislative districts of the provinces were noted down by the secretariat of the Office of Commissioner Lucenito Tagle. These RMA reports were then assigned to “Verifiers” gathered from the offices of the Commissioners, ODEDO, EBAD, FSD and the IAO, and supervised by some staff from the Office of Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal. PPCRV volunteers also assisted in the verification phase of RMA Reports.

3. Verification consisted of the following tasks:

°         Checking the completeness of the RMA documents like the ARs and the Minutes/Reports. Note: When there are no ARs, but the data needed can be found in the Minutes/Reports, the Verifier considered such RMA Report as complete. When there are no Minutes/Reports, but the ARs are there, the Verifier is to prepare an improvised Minutes/Reports by using the ARs for the “Per RMA” and the “Per AES” from the data downloaded from the COMELEC website. This would render the RMA Report complete.

°         Checking the correctness of the Taras, words and figures of the votes garnered as found in the ARs should tally.

°         Checking the correctness of the transposition of the figures from the “Per AES” as found in the ERs and “Per RMA” as found in the ARs should be the same. Note: If any difference were to be detected, the Verifier can correct the variances that are due to clerical and/or mathematical errors. Thirtytwo (32) such variances were corrected.

°         The Verifiers then submit their verified RMA Reports to an encoder from the Internal Audit Office (IAO) who will record the received and verified RMA Reports, after which these RMA Reports are passed on to the National Statistics Office (NSO) staff for the encoding of data, the computation of variances and the preparation of summary tables on these variances.

And the results of the random manual audit?

The conclusion of the same Report reads:

Root cause analysis of the variances in a majority of the clustered polling precincts manifested the difficulty of conducting parallel manual and machine counts. The manual count will always be subject to the discretion of the auditor in trying to interpret and/or appreciate voter’s intent. The machine will only count in the way it is programmed to.

If the Random Manual Audit is to make sure of the accuracy of election results and preserve electoral integrity, then it must be clearly pointed out from the beginning that the margin of variance is a computation of the difference between the manual count and the machine count. Hence, it is a test between man and machine. While the tolerance level set for the accuracy of the machines is a test that involves only the machines. The margin of variance indicated by the NSO as equivalent to 1% based on the accuracy rate of 99% (the allowable rate used in statistical analysis) cannot thus be used as the basis of comparison to the 99.995% accuracy rate of the PCOS machine set by the Request for Proposals (RFP) as a requirement for the Bidding Process of the AES technology.

As indicated in the NSO cumulative variances for the five positions subjected to the Random Manual Audit, none failed the accuracy rate of 99%.

Unfortunately, the Report does not contain (1) number of voters who actually voted, (2) number of valid ballots, (3) number with over-votes and (4) number with unusual markings, but which are available in the individual RMA minutes.

I understand that the denominator used to compute for the accuracy rate, as suggested by the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC), is the number of valid ballots cast based on Automated Election System (AES) supplied by the COMELEC.   The RMA process essentially checked the valid ballots count only.  This assumes that the PCOS machines could not be held accountable for the rejected ballots; this was the fault of the voter.  I would have preferred that the denominator include the rejected ballots as well.

2 Comments

Filed under election, Philippines

Various Assessments of the 2010 COMELEC – Smartmatic Automated Election System

The people have spoken.  75% of Filipinos are satisfied with the conduct of the May 2010 Elections [from the Social Weather Stations [http://www.sws.org.ph].  An excerpt of this report follows:

—————————————-

Seventy-five percent of Filipinos are satisfied with the general conduct of the May 2010 automated elections, according to the Second Quarter 2010 Social Weather Survey conducted from June 25 to 28, 2010.  The survey also found that Filipinos are satisfied with how the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and other institutions have handled various aspects of the May 10, 2010 elections.  In addition, a complementary survey of 480 Poll Workers nationwide who served in the May 2010 elections showed that Poll Workers are even more satisfied with the conduct of the May 2010 elections compared to the general public.

Satisfaction with conduct of Elections highest ever

Three out of four (75%) adult Filipinos are satisfied and 15% are dissatisfied with the general conduct of the May 2010 elections. This year’s public satisfaction with the conduct of the May 2010 elections is a marked improvement compared to the previous two elections.  In 2004, 53% were satisfied and 35% were dissatisfied with the conduct of the May 2004 elections. In 2007, 51% were satisfied and 32% were dissatisfied with the conduct of the May 2007 elections.

Compared to the general public, the Poll Workers are even more satisfied with the conduct of the May 2010 elections, with 90% satisfied and 7% dissatisfied.  In 2007, the Poll Workers were also more satisfied than the general public with the conduct of the May 2007 elections, with 78% Poll Workers satisfied compared to 51% among adults in general.

—————————————-

The eminent columnist Conrad de Quiros called this an EDSA 3 masquerading as an election.  In fact, EDSA 3 could be taken as an Election Day Support for Aquino III.

There are many who posit that the people really willed it to be a success.  Include the dedication and commitment of the teachers acting as the Board of election Inspectors and the volunteers of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting [PPCRV].  Even the military in most circumstances reportedly took a 180 degree position from influencing the vote in the past elections to protecting the right of people to vote.

But it is no time to sit back and accept the total experience of these 2010 elections.

There are numerous critical issues that need to be addressed and clarified by the COMELEC and Smartmatic before the country undertakes a similar type of automated elections.  Perhaps the election protests filed in the Vice Presidency and Manila mayoralty contests can help find answers to these issues and concerns.

I am posting a position paper of the Kaakbay Partylist, which articulates the shortcomings in the last elections from its own perspectives as culled from various reports of concerned authorities.  This was emailed to me on July 6, 2010.

—————————————-

COMELEC’s non compliance with the law resulted in a completely untested and unaudited system. The only testing made was at the precinct level and used in conjunction with sporadic voter training. No system testing was made with the Boards of Canvassers for the municipal, city, provincial and national levels. No testing was also made to determine whether the voting continuity and contingency measures were realizable.

As a result, it led to the following problems, difficulties, irregularities and inaccuracies during the elections:

  1. Long queues of voters waiting to vote for more than 3 hours in order to locate their precincts, resulting in 3 to 5 million disenfranchised voters.
  2. Erroneous count of 253 million registered voters in the Server of the House of Representatives.
  3. Failure to read 3 to 4 million “null” votes recorded nationwide.
  4. Printed election returns containing dates before, during and after 10 May 2010 and printed on credit cards thermal papers.
  5. Many election returns showed only 10 votes from about 500 to 600 actual voters, indicating that these returns were based on test ballots prior to Final Testing and Sealing of the PCOS machines.
  6. Electoral protests at various levels in 41 provinces and cities. The congressional inquiry at the House of Representatives (Locsin hearing) “showed that there was electoral fraud committed, and substantiated by documentary evidence, with COMELEC and Smartmatic, keeping the public in the dark about the many ways one could cheat through the machines, the many irregularities and last minute changes in orders coming from COMELEC that provided many opportunities to cheat and manipulate the votes for favored candidates.”

POINT 1. The PCOS machine uses an Ultra Violet (UV) Security Mark Sensor to determine the genuineness of a ballot. Prior to the elections, this UV Sensor was disabled by COMELEC.

The Locsin hearing confirmed that Smartmatic provided all the paper, UV ink, and several printing machines for National Printing Office (NPO) to print the ballots. Ms. Grace Enriquez of NPO and Mr. Flores of Smartmatic confirmed that the PCOS cannot read the UV ink printed ballots because of the lessened density of the UV ink due to the heightened printing speed to meet the printing deadline.

Instead, COMELEC immediately purchased some 76,000+ handheld UV readers that were not used during the elections.

POINT 2. In the Locsin hearing, it was confirmed that the Compact Flash (CF) cards of the PCOS can allow the reinsertion and acceptance of already scanned ballots. Later, both Ms. Quimson of Navigation Information and Mr. Flores said that scanned or previously read ballots can be re-fed into the computers even without a change of CF card.

There was no way to know whether the ballots read during the elections were genuine or fake.

POINT 3. The Joint Forensic Team, commissioned by the Joint Canvassing Committee reported June 9, 2010 the discovery that the PCOS machines have a controlling CONSOLE PORT which allowed the unsecured vulnerability of the PCOS machines to manipulation and open to malicious control and electoral fraud.

Through an unsecure (that is, with no username and password) connection of a laptop, the laptop was able to access the operating system of the PCOS machine. Smartmatic was not able to offer a technical explanation to this major security breach loophole.

The Namfrel terminal report, released July 2, 2010, said the random manual audit of certain precincts showed that the degree of variance was less than what was the required 99.995 percent accuracy. The overall performance of the machine is 99.35 percent accuracy, which was below the required 99.995 percent.

Extrapolating this percentage to 76,340 precincts, it will amount to about 345,000 ballots inaccurately read.

The digital signature is the primary feature to determine the authenticity and verifiability of the election returns from the precincts. Thus, the Contract specified these as the second main deliverable of Smartmatic.

Point i. COMELEC issued Resolution 8786 March 4, 2010 that no longer required the use of digital signatures. The Resolution stated:

“WHEREAS, there is a need to amend or revise portions of Resolution No. 8739 in order to fine tune the process and address procedural gaps;
SEC. 40. Counting of ballots and transmission of results
f) Thereafter, the PCOS shall automatically count the votes and immediately display a message “WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIGITALLY SIGN THE TRANSMISSION FILES WlTH A BEI SIGNATURE KEY?”, with a “YES” or ‘NO” option;
g) Press “NO” option.
The PCOS will display “ARE YOU SURE YOU DO NOT WANT TO APPLY A DIGlTAL SIGNATURE?” with a “YES” and “NO” option;
h) Press “YES” option.”

Point ii. The Locsin Report stated: “14. The digital signature—only of a particular PCOS—and not of the BEI person herself was conceded as being, for practical but not legal purposes, sufficient compliance with the intent of the E-Commerce and Automated Election laws. The Chair argued that a PCOS [or machine] digital signature serves equally as the digital signature of the BEI who has custody of the machine because it is possible to link one to the other.”

Point iii. The Joint Forensic Report however proved that such practical purposes were not true, as there were no such digital signatures. The Report stated:

“ Absence of Machine Digital Signatures
Examination o the PCOS machines revealed that there was no evidence found to prove the existence of digital certificates in the PCOS machines, contrary to the claims of Smartmatic. The technicians of Smartmatic were not able to show to the forensic team the machine version of the digital signature, alleging that they do not have the necessary tools to show the same. More so, they were at a quandary as to how to extract the said machine signatures— to the dismay of the forensic team.

If there are digital certificates, then these were supposed to be revealed. The forensic team tried to extract the digital signatures but to no avail. Hence, the forensic team is of the opinion that there exists no digital signature in the PCOS machine.”

Point iv. Without the digital signatures (whether that of the PCOS or the BEI), there is no way to check in the CCS servers in the municipality, city, province and national to know which PCOS machine (authorized or unauthorized) is transmitting to their CCS servers.

This is crucial with the discovery of 60 PCOS machines and 2 Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) in Antipolo in the house of a Smartmatic technician (who could not show any authority for safekeeping, back up and to which CCS he is transmitting), and the subject of the Forensic team’s investigation.

Point v. As proven above, there were no digital signatures used in all level of the AES. Therefore, the Board of Canvassers themselves, from the municipal, city, provinces and national canvassing centers, cannot authenticate, duly execute and certify the Certificates of Canvass they transmit electronically to the higher levels of canvassing.

Thus, all the BOC proclamations are null and void from the beginning.

The voter had no way to check whether the PCOS correctly read and recorded his vote choices.

No Statement of Votes (SOV) accompanied the Certificates of Canvass (COC). The SOV is the details of the votes by precincts (indicated in the election returns) by which the summary votes of each candidate in the COC can be verified and checked.

COMELEC stated that it will take some time to print 10,000 SOV recorded in the CCS servers of the Board of Canvassers.

The results of 30 RMA precincts were released and announced as of 15 May 2010.

Last 20 May, COMELEC announced results of about 300 RMA precincts were completed with few discrepancies.

In the Locsin hearing, Ambassador de Villa of PPCRV reported the partial results of the RMA. Out of the 1,145 randomly selected precincts, 845 precincts have already submitted reports, 15 precincts’ results were in transit leaving 285 precincts with no results yet.

As of this writing, COMELEC has not published the results of this Random Manual Audit.

SysTest Lab submitted a report with some 4,000 comments for action by COMELEC. No official announcement by COMELEC whether these SysTest comments were addressed.

The lack of transparency by the COMELEC made the Supreme Court to order COMELEC to produce the relevant documentation on these items.

Tests were conducted only at precinct level, none at the municipal, city, provincial and national.

The Joint Forensic Team reported that “the hash codes for the firmware residing in the 6 PCOS machines found in Antipolo have the same SMA256 output … However, a thorough comparison with the official document posted in the COMELEC website revealed that the published hash code is not the same as the extracted one [from the PCOS machines.”

This indicates that the computer programs in the PCOS machines have been altered.

For all documents related to the Automated Election System (AES):
http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=c83e06e1eeda20b0d8f14848abf485dd1e97232231037841759e682a8cd2154a

For all documents related to Critique of the AES:
http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=c83e06e1eeda20b0d8f14848abf485dd1e972322310378414df0d6082f1c2cd0

Leave a comment

Filed under election, market research/opinion surveys, Philippines

Deactivation of Digital Signature of BEI — Old Stuff

What is now preoccupying the Philippine Congress is the deactivation of the digital signature when transmitting the count from the PCOS machines.  This is old stuff.

Below are excerpts from a letter submitted to the COMELEC  on 30 April 2010,  10 days before the May 10 elections,  by the Compact for Peaceful and Democratic Elections, a poll watchdog of which I am one of the convenors.  Likewise we filed on May 7 a petition for prohibition and mandamus with the Supreme Court.  Sadly the COMELEC brushed this aside  and the Court junked the petition.

And now, the legislators, along with the COMELEC [both getting their salaries and perks from people’s taxes] are getting heated up over the issue two weeks  after the elections.  We should be the ones getting raging mad over this gross incompetence

The letter was signed by Hon. Loretta Ann Rosales, Engr. Rodolfo Lozada, Atty. Al Vitangcol and Atty. Michelle Africa.

If only they listened, as servants of the people…

—————————————-

Compact for Peaceful and Democratic Elections

April 30, 2010

HONORABLE JOSE A.R. MELO

Chairperson

Commission on Elections

Palacio Del Gobernador

Intramuros, Manila

Re: Illegal Technical Processes Within the Automated Elections System

Dear Chairperson Melo,

Warm greetings!

We are requesting your good office to review two (2) major features of the Automated Elections System (AES), which are both illegal, and immediately take corrective measures to forestall possible future legal issues.

These two (2) AES features are the deactivation of the digital signature and the absence of a vote verification mechanism.

COMELEC Resolution No. 8786, the Revised General Instructions For The Board Of Election Inspectors (BEI), directs the BEI not to use the digital signature during the transmission of Election Returns (ER).  This is explicit in Paragraphs (f) to (h) of Sec. 40, which states,

“Section 40. Counting of ballots and transmission of results; Procedure.

“x x x;

“f) Thereafter, the PCOS shall automatically count the votes and immediately display a message “WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIGITALLY SIGN THE TRANSMISSION FILES WITH A BEI SIGNATURE KEY?”, with a “YES” or “NO” option;

“g) Press “NO” option. The PCOS will display “ARE YOU SURE YOU DO NOT WANT TO APPLY A DIGITAL SIGNATURE?” with a “YES” and “NO” option;

“h) Press “YES” option. x x x;”

The removal of the digital signature made the transmitted Election Returns unofficial, per the requirement of the law.

The penultimate paragraph of Section 22 of Republic Act No. 8436, as amended, reads as follows:

“SEC. 22. Election Returns. – Each copy of the printed election returns shall bear appropriate control marks to determine the time and place of printing. x x x.

“x x x

“The election returns transmitted electronically and digitally signed shall be considered as official election results and shall be used as the basis for the canvassing of votes and the proclamation of a candidate.”

The law uses the word “and”, meaning that the transmitted election returns should come with a digital signature.

The absence of a vote verification mechanism in the PCOS machine is illegal and against the prevailing law.

Section 15 of Republic Act No. 8436, as amended, mandates the vote verification mechanism in the AES.  To wit,

“Sec. 15. Official Ballot. – The Commission shall prescribe the format of x x x the size and form of the official ballot, which shall contain the titles of the positions to be filled and/or the propositions to be voted upon in an initiative, referendum or plebiscite. x x x and to allow the voter to review and change all ballot choices prior to completing and casting his or her ballot. x x x

The law clearly stipulates that the voter should be able to review and change his/her ballot choices prior to completing and casting his or her ballot. The absence of this voting mechanism defies the aforementioned provision.

It is still within your solemn duty to correct these legal flaws vis-à-vis the technical processes of the AES.

Thank you and anticipating your prompt and positive response.

On behalf of the Compact for Peaceful and Democratic Elections, we remain

Very truly yours,

xxxXXXxxx

Cc:

Commissioner Rene V. Sarmiento

Commissioner Nicodemo T. Ferrer

Commissioner Lucenito N. Tagle

Commissioner Armando C. Velasco

Commissioner Elias R. Yusoph

Commissioner Gregorio Y. Larrazabal

Leave a comment

Filed under election, Philippines