'Worst election ever?' Watchdog wants Smartmatic blacklisted after #Halalan2022 glitches

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2022 09:44 AM

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MANILA – A poll watchdog on Wednesday called for the blacklisting of electronic voting technology firm Smartmatic following the reports of vote counting machine (VCM) glitches during the May 9 elections. 

Kontra Daya Convenor Professor Danilo Arao said most of the complaints they got on election day were about long lines and VCM malfunctions.

“May mga botante na alas sais pa nakapila…napagsarahan na po sila ng polling precinct ng alas siyete, tapos naghintay hanggang hatingggabi, hindi pa rin po nakakaboto. So, ganoon yung extreme cases po talaga…talagang wala tayong masyadong mapiling salita kundi nakakadurog ng puso,” he said.

(There were voters in line at 6 a.m...polls closed at 7 p.m., and even up till midnight they weren't able to vote. These are extreme cases...we have no word tp describe these but this is heratbreaking.)

“Nakakadurog po ng puso yon at yun yung masasabi nating concrete anecdotal evidence na meron talagang kapalpakan ang Smartmatic. Dapat ma-blacklist na ‘yan. Palayasin na sana yan sa Pilipinas at ang Comelec dapat imbestigahan yung lapses, yung lahat ng mga nangyaring problema at aberya at wag sabihing minor problems lang ito,” Arao stressed.

(This is heartbreaking and this is concrete anecdotal evidence that Smartmatic failed and must be blacklisted. They must be sent out of the country and Comelec must investigate the lapses and problems and not say they are minor problems.)

“Hindi po minor ang potential disenfranchisement,” he added.

(Potential disenfranchisement is not minor.)

Arao said the glitches that marred the 2022 elections may have disappointed some first time voters.

“Mas malaki ang epekto nito sa mga first time voter. Ayaw sana natin silang ma-disillusion o ma-disappoint sa ating electoral exercise dahil bahagi ito ng ating demokrasya pero dahil sa kapalpakan ng Comelec atsaka ng Smartmatic, ganoon yung malamang na nangyayari,” he said.

“Ito na po yung pinakamalalang eleksyon po siguro sa kasaysayan ng ating automated election, hindi lang ito usapin ng breakdown ng vote counting machine na di hamak na mas mataas ang bilang atsaka marami sa kanila nangyari umaga pa lang,” he added.

(This has a huge impact on first-time voters, we don't them disillusioned or disappointed with the electoral process becausr this ismpart of democracy but because of Comelec and Smartmatic's failures, that's probably what happened.)

(This is probably the most problematic election ever since we automated, this is not just about VCM breakdowns because most of these happened early in the day.)

Arao said their team is ready to help those who need help filing complaints about election-related irregularities.

"Pero pansamantala lang, gusto kong sabihin, mas extralegal ang laban ngayon, kaya sa usaping mga kilos protesta, talagang kami ay sasama sa mga malawakang protesta. Yung nangyari kahapon na pinangunahan namin at sinamahan namin, una pa lang ito sa serye ng aming pagrerehistro ng aming collective indignation po.”

“Kasi ang dayaan, kahit kailan, hindi po acceptable yan,” he said.

(But for now, I have to say that the fight is more extralegal so when it comes to protests, we will join more of these. The mass action we joined yesterday is just the first. We will show our collective indignation because cheating is never acceptable.)

--TeleRadyo, 11 May 2022