Never again! …to Smartmatic

- THE MANILA TIMES - Jun 21, 2016 -

By this time, only the truly uninformed would still find Smartmatic’s combination of PCOS/VCM (Precinct Count Optical Scan/Vote Counting Machine) and CCS (canvassing and consolidation system) an acceptable solution to the automation of Philippine elections. We used this solution in the last three National and Local Elections (NLE) and in all three, we experienced “glitches” and lack of transparency that convinced us of the system’s unreliability and its vulnerability to tampering.

Consider the following incidents:

During the canvassing of the 2008 ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) election, several precincts in Wao, Lanao del Sur, showed zero results. When this was reported to Smartmatic, a technical person in the company accessed the machines in Wao and made the correction … from Manila! This is the first proof that Smartmatic can change the results in any region, at will, from anywhere in the country.

Exactly one week before the 2010 elections, Smartmatic’s systems test yielded erroneous results. This triggered the replacement of supposedly “all CF cards” installed in the 82,000 PCOS machines. Many found it difficult to believe that they were able to do this successfully – i.e., replace those many CF cards in a span of one week. But if they failed to do so, how do we explain the fact that they were able to announce election results that came close to what the surveys published? One possibility stood out: program the results to follow the surveys. Hmm … not all that difficult to do.


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