(UPDATE)Poll automation law signed

The Commission on Elections said it was going to convene the technical advisory group to discuss how to implement the law on Monday.

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Despite recommendations from experts and the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) not to push through with the automation of election on May 2007, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo went ahead and signed a law amending Republic Act 8436.

This will initiate the pilot test of an automated election system in at least 12 areas in the country, the INQUIRER.net report said.

This came as a surprise considering the Commission on Elections had already stated it didn’t have enough time and resources to run an automated elections in select areas. Another interesting development to follow.

Excerpt of the INQUIRER.net report:

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has signed a law that would automate the election process beginning with the May 2007 polls.

Republic Act 9369, signed January 23, seeks to amend the current automation law, Republic Act 8436, by authorizing the use of an automated election system (AES) in the voting, counting, consolidation, canvassing, and transmission of results and other electoral processes.

Lawmakers believe the enactment of the bill into law will show the administration’s commitment to credible elections in May.

Presidential Political Adviser Gabriel Claudio said the enactment of the poll automation law is a fulfillment of Arroyo’s 10-point agenda “It is in pursuit of the political and electoral reforms that she signed the AES bill, which she had certified as urgent,” Claudio said in a text message.

The report also pointed out that this development will jeopardize Comelec’s Internet voting project, which will be initiated in Singapore.

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Erwin Oliva

Putting a dent on the universe one day at a time