Smartmatic-Dominion dispute may compromise 2013 elections

Migrante Partylist today echoed the fears of election watchdog Automated Elections System Watch (AES) that PCOS-machine provider Smartmatic’s ongoing dispute with software owner Dominion Voting Systems may compromise the conduct and results of the upcoming 2013 elections.

According to Migrante Partylist Chairperson Connie Bragas-Regalado, AES Watch raised valid concerns when it said that Smartmatic may resort to using pirated technology for the 2013 elections. AES Watch raised this possibility in light of the ongoing legal fight between Smartmatic and Dominion due to the latter’s termination of contract.

“Smartmatic and Comelec need to assure us, the voting public, of contingency measures and resolutions being taken. The Comelec cannot just brush this off and say that the automated elections will push through as planned. We are only a few months shy of the elections but the Comelec has not been transparent as to what software Smartmatic plans to use,” Bragas-Regalado said.

She added, “Comelec says that we will be using the same PCOS machines used in 2010. Taking into consideration technical glitches and complications experienced last time, how will a change in software affect the machines and the voting process this time around should Dominion continue to refuse to provide software?” Bragas-Regalado said.

Migrante Partylist also criticized Smartmatic for its “business-as-usual” attitude when asked about possible effects of the business rift on the automated election system.

“Clearly, for Smartmatic, this issue is nothing but a business venture. It is the Filipino public’s business, however, to ensure credible and fraud-free elections. Let us all start by demanding transparency and a clear alternative blueprint from the Comelec on this issue,” said Bragas-Regalado. ###