I’ve posted new topics in the forum.
Do we need automation? WE DO.
How do we automate?
Do we use direct recording technology like touch screens and voting machines? Or do we use optical mark reader technology – the kind used by the lotto and standardized testing (i think La Salle uses this; the Professional Regulation Commission does for sure; and the Civil Service)?
Pag direct recording, bibili tayo ng limang makina (at least) bawat precinct. With more than 200 thousand precincts …. medyo magasto ata.
Pag optical mark, mga dalawang libong makina, pwede nang i-cover ang buong Pilipinas. Cheaper, pero may balota pa rin na dapat i-transport from the polling place to the counting center.
Of course, pwede rin tayong maglagay ng at least one optical mark machine sa bawat presinto para bilangin ang mga boto dun. Pero again, with more than 200 thousand precincts, it might get expensive.
Si Senator Gordon, ang gusto niya ay yung sistemang gagamit ng PC. Direct recording yun. To offset the cost, according to the Senator, pwede naman daw i-turn over sa mga iskwelahan ang mga PC after elections. Hihiramin na lang ulit for the next polls. Workable ba yun?
The Fair Elections Act prescribes time limits for radio and TV ads that politicians can place. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t explicitly say whether the computation should be on a per station basis ( i.e. each candidate can have 120 minutes worth of tv ads on GMA, 120 on ABS-CBN, etc) or on an aggregate basis (i.e., 120 minutes worth of tv ads regardless of which station is used – ex: 120 total for ALL ads placed on GMA, ABSCBN, etc).
Because the law is silent on that score, there has been the possibility that the COMELEC adopts one or the other interpretation – either per station or aggregate. For 2007, we started out with an aggregate interpretation but we received a lot of requests to adopt a per station scheme.
I raised very strong objections to the per station scheme kasi magiging magasto masyado ang kampanya. Lugi ang kandidatong walang pera. But the people wanting the aggregate scheme also presented a valid argument: more ads means more people can get information and thus contribute to the ‘informed decision making’ we all want to see. So the COMELEC decided to adopt a midway posture: not on a per station basis, but calculate the limitations on a per REGION basis.
It’s still too soon to see what exactly the impact of that decision was, but I think it’ll still show that the campaigns were too expensive (my opinion).
For future elections – 2010 for instance – I wish that the law could be amended to finally settle the question of which interpretation to apply: a per station interpretation or an aggregate interpretation … or somewhere in between like we did now. It’ll help my push for amendments (if needed) if I can get a sense of what people think on the issue.