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Never say die: Now watchdog group wants lotto-style voting

By: - Reporter / @erikaINQ
/ 04:46 AM July 11, 2015

Either way, the results are expected to be fair and square.

After the opposition raised against “Patas,” an election watchdog group has introduced “Tapat.”

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A “lotto-style” vote-counting setup was presented Friday by the Automated Election System Watch after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) thumbed down the hybrid precinct automated tallying system (Patas).

“This system would be easy since we all know Filipinos like betting in lotto,” AES Watch spokesperson Nelson Celis said during yesterday’s roundtable discussion with the media at the Kamuning Bakery Cafe in Quezon City.

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Tablet and printer

With a tablet and a thermal printer, the transparent election system (Tapat) costs less, has shorter ballots and prints out voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) unlike Smartmatic’s precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, Celis said.

The Tapat system was created in just a month’s time by father-and-son software developers Arnold and Angelo Villasanta. The Villasantas on Friday demonstrated how the tablet reads the shaded ballots and displays the result so that the voter can verify that the votes were counted correctly.

Arnold Villasanta said the Tapat system could use the existing manpower for PCOS but it would cost less since the prototype was created at a retail cost of around P20,000. In comparison, a PCOS machine costs P90,000, AES Watch convener Maricar Akol pointed out.

“There is a number assigned to corresponding candidates. Voters will shade the number, just like in the PCOS system. But the ballot is short, unlike the kilometric ballot of PCOS,” Celis said.

“When the voter confirms the result displayed in the tablet, it will print out the VVPAT,” he said. “The VVPAT is important because it is stipulated in Republic Act No. 9369 (Automated Election Law). Smartmatic’s PCOS doesn’t have this; it hides the result. Why did the Comelec allow it?”

Celis said both Patas and Tapat could donate the laptops or tablets to the schools after elections, eliminating the “hidden warehousing and repair costs of PCOS.” He said the AES Watch is not trying to sell a product but is offering a system to help the Comelec. With a report from Jinky Cabildo

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TAGS: Automated Election System Watch, Comelec, Election Watchdog, Elections, PATAS, Tapat
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