Smartmatic says 2013 polls successful

By RG Cruz, AB-CBN News

Posted at Jun 04 2013 11:51 AM | Updated as of Jun 04 2013 07:51 PM

MANILA - Automated election system supplier Smartmatic claims the May 2013 midterm election was a success despite problems encountered during election day.

In its website, the company quoted Smartmatic CEP Antonio Mugica as saying: "We are proud to have reciprocated with efficiency and transparency the trust bestowed upon us by the Filipinos."

"After two successful national elections, thousands of candidates elected, and 1.5 billion votes counted, our commitment toward better elections in the Philippines is stronger than ever."

Smartmatic Asia Pacific President Cesar Flores added: "The midterm elections represent for the Philippines another giant step towards becoming a world reference in election administration."

The same website cites that on May 13, in only 10 hours, 766,672,141 votes were cast in the Philippines to elect 18,022 national and local officials during their 2013 midterm elections.

Smartmatic first handled the automated Philippine elections in 2010. For 2013, Smartmatic sold 82,200 voting machines to Commission on Elections.

Smartmatic supplied the compact flash cards for the voting machines, and the modems to transmit data from precincts to tallying centers

Smartmatic also supplied its proprietary E-Day Monitor software to empower the National Support Center (NSC).

The NSC is the country-wide headquarters mandated to render technical assistance to each component of the elections. The NSC featured a 600-seat call center.

Filipino voters elected 12 Senators, 229 district members of the House of Representatives, 80 Provincial Governors, 80 Provincial Vice Governors, 766 members of the Provincial Legislature, 138 City Mayors, 138 City Vice Mayors, 1,532 members of the City Council, 1,496 Municipal Mayors, 1,496 Municipal Vice Mayors, and 11,972 members of the Municipal Council. In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), one Regional Governor, one Regional Vice Governor, and 24 Regional Assemblymen were elected. In addition, party lists were also present in the contests.

Poll watchdog Kontra Daya, however, said Smartmatic's claims are misleading.

In a statement sent by email, Kontra Daya said Smartmatic is trying to dupe people again through the disinformation posted on its website.

"There is neither transparency or reliability with the Smartmatic system. This foreign company sold us unreliable PCOS machines. Some 18,000 units failed to transmit results on election day. We also take not of the absence of transparency in the system as no real and credible source code review by interested parties was ever done," the group said.

It also said Smartmatic failed to mention the many documented problems with CF cards during the 2013 polls.

"It failed to mention discrepancies in the electronic results and the random manual audit.”