MINDANAO SOLON CALLS FOR SOLUTIONS TO PERSISTENT ELECTION WOES

04 October 2017 | news release

 

[REACTION TO THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE BARANGAY, SK ELECTIONS]

Member of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms and Iligan City Lone District Representative Frederick W. Siao is one of the House authors of the bill postponing the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to 2018 which was just signed into law by President Duterte as Republic Act 10952.

The postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections gives everyone concerned time to sort out matters, figure out how the elections can be conducted in an orderly, peaceful, accurate, and credible way.

As Member of the House Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, I am of the opinion that the barangay and SK elections should also use the vote counting machines.

Timely and accurate counting of votes cast must also be done at the barangay level, not just for other elections.

I am aware that this will pose technical challenges to the COMELEC because they would have to configure the vote counting machines’ processing and memory cards with specificity match with each barangay to which the machines are sent.

What we seek to prevent here are long delays in the vote counting and the political violence and electoral fraud that often come with the long delays.

As many are aware, election violence is prevalent at the barangay and other local elections. Familiarity can breed contempt and contempt can percolate into election-related violence.

We must also consider that the lists of voters we have are still disorderly and voters still experience many problems looking for their names on election day. These problems are entirely preventable and solvable, but the solutions keep eluding us despite the many advances in technology available to us.

Electronic transmission of election results from the precincts has also been a problem that beset previous automated and computerized elections. There are still many precinct locations that are not within the coverage area or where internet or mobile signals are virtually non-existent. This is a problem the telecommunications companies and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) must address in coordination with COMELEC. (END)

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