Thursday, January 28, 2010

Serious problems with hybrid elections

Talks are rife that pragmatically there will be "hybrid" elections in May.
There might be partial automated elections and partly manual elections.
Some say the automated elections will only be limited in the urban areas, but the remote areas may have to conduct the elections mannually.
I am not sure of the legality of conducting hybrid elections.
But certainly it poses serious problems.
The law says nationwide automated polls.
If it is nationwide, then it must be the entire nation that should hold automated elections.
To my mind, holding hybrid elections will not reflect the true will of the electorate.
If some of the paper ballots will be counted manually, by human discretion, instead of using the machines, then there will be significant differences in the appreciation of the paper ballots.
Humans differ from machines in the matter of appreciation of ballots.
Under Comelec guidelines there is a threshold in the shading of the spaces in the balot that would manifest a voter's choice.
If there is a fifty percent (50%) shading (or beyond), the machine can still count it as a vote.
But a machine appreciates the degree of shading differently from a human eye.
A certain shade may be acceptable by the machine as a legitimate vote.
But the same shade may not be acceptable if evaluated by a human eye.
And vice versa.
There will be as many appreciations of a particular shade in a ballot as there are human evaluators.
Remember, in automated elections, voters will no longer write the names of candidates, but will only shade those spaces corresponding to the candidate.
There will be differences in appreciation of the shading of the ballots.
If there are different instruments used in evaluating the threshold of shading (machine vs. human eye) then the elections may not reflect true voice of the electorate.
Hybrid elections will really pose serious problems.

No comments: