Hybrid poll system

October 22, 2019

A TOP Philippine legislator sees a fully transparent, cleaner and more orderly voting and counting of votes in 2022, when the nation goes to the polls again to elect new government officials.

This, if the two-chamber Congress - the Senate and the House of Representatives – approves a proposed legislation which calls for manual voting and counting of ballots at the precinct level.

Among those to be elected in the 2022 polls is the successor of President Duterte, the first Mindanaoan to hold the country’s top political post, whose six-year presidency ends on June 30, 2022.

House Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte said his proposed hybrid election system (HES) also mandates the electronic transmission and canvassing of votes by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Adopting a combination of manual and automated processes will enhance the transparency, auditability and credibility of the 2022 presidential and local elections, according to Villafuerte.

The articulate lawmaker from Camarines Sur said his House Bill (HB) No. 3896 seeks to overhaul the almost decade-old present automated election system (AES) and address its many glitches.

Proof that glitches remain in the computerized poll system is the fact that 40 election complaints have been filed since the AES was first adopted in the May 2010 national and local balloting.

The present automated election system, he said, lacks transparency because only the voting machines knew how the votes were counted.

Like other well-meaning people, we share the view of Villafuerte that the situation cannot be allowed to continue unabated because the nation’s political and economic stability is paramount.

And as the repository of the people’s right of suffrage, the poll body ought to support legislative efforts to ensure that the true and express will of the Filipinos through the ballot be kept inviolate.