How to vote in the 2010 automated elections

Officials of the Comission on Elections (Comelec) say that voting will be easier for voters in the automated 2010 elections. Does the general public really know how to vote in the 2010 computerized poll?

By now, the Comelec, together with representatives of Smartmatic-TM (the company who will provide the computers for the 2010 poll), may already have held a Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) public demo in many areas.

In my own personal observation, based on the PCOS recently conducted by the local Comelec office, the coverage of the demo is very limited. The reason is that most of the attendees came from private and government offices, media entities and local government units. Only a small percentage came from the masses that truly comprise the entire voting population.

Comelec officials said in national papers that in the 2010 automated election:
  • There would be no time to cheat;
  • Erasures in the voting ballot are not allowed;
  • Comelec would use ink instead of pencil which could not be erased;
  • 80,000 counting machines would be made available three days before elections;
  • Comelec will reserve batteries, which could last for almost 16 hours, in case of power shortage;
  • Teachers manning the machines will have support staff and one certified Smartmatic computer technician;
  • It would be hard for hackers to sabotage the machines;
  • Counting of ballots would be done in 15 seconds per ballot;
  • Counting of ballots will be cut down to less than 10 minutes and results will be made available in 48 hours.
To realize Comelec's projection of the 2010 poll to be easier and faster, they must conduct more PCOS in as many areas as possible, including those that are far-flung, for wider information dissemination and to encourage a higher turnout.

How to vote in the 2010 automated elections? Here are some tips:
  • Before the ballot will be given to you, the teacher on duty would first give you instructions on how to use the machine.
  • Listen to the teacher and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Completely shade the appropriate box of your choice candidate. Avoid putting a check, a period or point, or an 'X' in the box, and/or any extra marks on the ballot. Otherwise, some items or worse your entire ballot will be invalid.
To educate you more, here's a video of the PCOS demo as provided by the official Comelec website.