The Philippine Star

Smartmatic: Phl now global leader in automated polls


The Philippine­s can now be considered a global leader in automated elections, according to an internal memo from Smartmatic, the supplier of vote counting machines (VCMs) used in the May 9 elections.

Smartmatic Philippine­s project director Marlon Garcia said the country can be proud that it holds the record for having the largest manufactur­ing and deployment of VCMs not only in Asia but also in the whole world.

“I can’t tell you how proud and fulfilled I feel now knowing that I’ve been part of such an amazing and historic accomplish­ment,” Garcia said in a memo sent to all employees and technician­s of Smartmatic a day before the elections.

He noted why the Philippine­s can now call itself a leader in automated elections.

He cited the configurat­ion of almost 100,000 VCMs in just over one month; the recruitmen­t, hiring and training of more than 45,000 field technician­s in less than three months; the largest broadband global area network (BGAN) deployment in the world; setting up a call center with more than 700 operators in one month; setting up the most complex telecommun­ications infrastruc­ture for the private election network integratin­g all the telecommun­ication companies in the Philippine­s and foreign satellite providers in less than three months; and setting up three data centers in one month.

The BGAN was used to transmit voting results from over 92,000 clustered precincts all over the country.

Garcia also noted that Smartmatic achieved the “almost impossible task” of printing 56 million ballots in just 49 days in spite of many hindrances such as the unfavorabl­e rulings of the Supreme Court.

The SC required the Commission on Elections ( Comelec) to print voter receipts for greater transparen­cy.

On election day, an observer from Indonesia said they may follow the example of the Philippine­s in conducting elections.

“I’m here to see how people cast their votes and how they use automation of election in a very good manner here. I can tell our people that if the Philippine­s can do automation in elections, why not Indonesia?” said Dr. Abdul Aziz Ahmad, a former poll official in Jakarta.

Garcia issued the statement after vicepresid­ential candidate Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. alleged that a “computer fraud” was committed with the input of a command in the Comelec transparen­cy server that caused his close rival, Liberal Party vice-presidenti­al candidate Leni Robredo, to overtake him.

The vote counting for the vicepresid­ential race stood at more than 96 percent as of press time, with Robredo leading.

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