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Lawmaker proposes ‘hybrid’ poll system

Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Ray Villafuerte is batting for a hybrid election system toward a manual voting and counting of ballots at the precinct level, and an electronic transmission and canvassing of votes by the Commission on Elections.

He said the proposal would enhance the transparency and credibility of the almost decade-old automated election system, adding it is necessary to address the glitches that have cropped up ever since the automated election system was first adopted in the 2010 elections.

Villafuerte added that the Comelec has received 40 election-related complaints from 2010 to 2019.

“This condition cannot be allowed to continue unabated because the political and economic stability of our country is paramount,” he said.

He filed House Bill No. 3896 for a hybrid election system.

Under the proposed measure, “any attempts to manipulate the electronic transmission and canvassing of election results can always be checked and audited against the one true count made at each and every polling precinct across the country. The good old manual counting of the votes will effectively serve as the bulwark against the ever real and present danger of automated manipulation of election results.”

To adopt a combination of the manual and automated processes could enhance the transparency, auditability and credibility of the elections, and ensure full transparency and orderly balloting and counting from 2022 onwards, he cited.

“This bill seeks to overhaul the present automated election system by repealing the existing automated election laws and replacing them with a hybrid election system that combines both manual voting and counting and electronic transmission and canvassing of election results,” he noted.

The system would do away with the chaos, long queues and disenfranchisement that could accommodate 800 and 1,000 registered voters per precinct.

The bill bans contracting out or outsourcing the printing of official ballots as a stringent security measure against massive fraud.

Topics: Luis Ray Villafuerte , Commission on Elections , Comelec , hybrid election system
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