Saturday, September 22, 2018

EDITORIAL | Restore faith in the electoral process


After the Penafrancia fiesta, the political fever for the 2019 elections has started to set in.

Conversations left and right are about the selection of candidates, shifts in political alliances, and other political issues.

What is often overlooked, however, in these discussions is the ongoing Oversight Committee Hearing that tackles the alleged anomalies in the previous election.

Said anomalies range from advanced transmission of votes a day before the election, numerous vote counting machines (VCM) which malfunctioned, and wet ballots, to name a few.

The lack of interest in the alleged anomalies, however, is not at all surprising, given that mainstream media hardly gives space or coverage in the rather difficult-to-understand technical issues involved in the automated election system.

With nine months to go before the 2019 polls, it appears that the same questionable system will be used anew, despite its credibility being substantially tainted.

Meanwhile, the public cannot even turn to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for answers, as it consistently throws the queries to Smartmatic, as if the latter were in charge of running the political exercise.

Thus, these questions on the irregularities increase rather than diminish, because COMELEC continues to outright dismiss instead of confront them.

The alleged irregularities, which have been noted during the 2010, 2013, and 2016 elections, must be resolved before the conduct of the next political exercise, lest the electorate completely loses faith in the outcome.

The questions cast on the election system have put our democracy in peril, and we barely have time to come up with a solution.

Immediate action is the order of the day.

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