Friday, March 26, 2010

Self-auditable COMELEC count

I've written about this earlier and since the criteria on how ballots are counted have changed, I thought there is a need to recraft the recommendation.

The "Self-Auditable COMELEC Count" would have to be be generated by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine and by the various levels of canvassing.  It would not just report the votes garnered by each candidate, but also the number of ballots counted (ballots in the box), the number of over votes for each position, and the number of blank votes for each position.  This “COMELEC Self-Auditable Count” should be applied for all elective positions.

Using as an example the position for president, a PCOS self-auditable count report should look something similar to this:

For President
Candidate A
Candidate B
Candidate C
Candidate D
Candidate E
Total Votes for Position (TVP)
Total Ballots Counted (TBC)
TBC less TVP
Total Over Votes
Total Blank Votes

By merely looking at this complete count, all the votes for each position would be easily accounted for.  In close races where the difference between the winning and losing candidates are sometimes votes of a few 10s or 100s, the possible explanation of the differences could be partially gleaned through this complete count.  Lastly, recounts could be discouraged.

The other report that COMELEC would have to generate at the clustered precinct and at all levels of the canvass are the number of invalid ballots or ballots rejected by the machine and not included in the count.  This is a crucial piece of information that should complete the “audit-ability” of the count, justify differences in winning margins and voter error.

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