Automated election in P'sinan seen

18/02/2009 12:42

Dagupan City- With 1.4 million voters in Pangasinan, the country’s second vote rich province has been eyed as the second province to have its election automated in the next 2010 election.

Reddy Balarbar Provincial Election Officer told in an interview that his office is now undergoing preparations, as they await for the national government to send the materials needed in the implementation of the first to be done automated election in this province. 

“Yes we were already informed by the National office regarding the type of election that will be implemented comes 2010 and probably we will be having a computerized type”kh

Balarbar also added that it may not be a c great number of voters.

Pangasinan has more than 1.4 million registered voters and 90-95 % of this voters participate during election periods.

Among the big areas with great number of voters are: San Carlos City, Bayambang, Urdaneta City and Dagupan City

The COMELEC however has not determined what type of the computerized system will be adopted in the coming 2010 election.

It will be recalled that during the automated election in ARMM in the year 2008, there were two types of election automated machines were deployed in the area.

The Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) and Optical Mark Reader (OMR).In this machine,  voters are provided with a Voting Pad where the photos of candidates can be selected by pressing on the desired picture. Once the vote is final, a receipt is generated after pressing ‘BOTO‘. The receipt is kept by the Board of Election Inspectors just in case there are complaints raised. However, DRE Technology can only be deployed in areas where communications is available and reliable.

On the other hand, OMR (Optical Mark Reader) Technology uses a specially scanned paper ballot where voters have to shade the oval which corresponds to their candidate of choice using a pencil. The downside of this is there’s a probability that a ballot can be rejected if the OMR Scan machine cannot read the markings.

The Direct Recording Electronic votes can be transmitted electronically to the Counting Centers, while the OMR votes have to be brought in physically to these Counting Centers for processing. So if the MILF are bombing communication towers and bridges, this proved to be a challenge.

Nonetheless, results are expected to be  processed in about 36 hours with more than 90% of votes counted.