Was the 2022 Philippine automated election system (AES) hacked?


  • 1
  • ii
    What is automatic balloter organisation?

    • 2.1
      Other Electoral Processes
    • two.ii
      First Automated Election | PCOS Machine
  • iii
    What are the advantages of the automated election system?
  • 4
    What are the disadvantages of automated elections in the Philippines?
  • 5
    How does the current electoral system affect the ballot?
  • half-dozen
    What are some issues and challenges experienced in the deport of automated elections?
  • vii
    Problems faced during actual voting
  • 8
    Will online voting be possible, or will information technology exist immune, under existing laws, taking into consideration the harmful effects of the pandemic?
  • ix
    What are the Philippines Laws affecting ballot?

    • 9.1
      Precursor Laws
  • 10
    Terminal Perspective


Every bit we combat this COVID-19 pandemic with the growing number of cases everyday, hither comes another matter that needs our outmost attending – the 2022 Ballot.

Adjacent year’s ballot will be one of a kind. Why? Conducting an election while health and condom concerns loom in the background because of this COVID outbreak will have big impact on how our election will proceed past that time.

Some of the problematic situations that may arise now and until the ballot day are:

  • Less number of registered voters from what have been predictable to register
  • Multiple absence in the polls similar depression turnout of voters
  • Compromised legitimacy and integrity of the ballot proper

This may only hateful, on its confront, that the voting process is [or may exist] losing its credibility. Added to that, there may too be lack of trust in public government.

However, equally we can also see, many people also want to participate in the upcoming election [to register], if not only for this pandemic and, obviously, the quarantine protocols.

Ballot at this time of pandemic has its own share of pros and cons. However, the most important matter to remember is that we should religiously exercise our right to vote.

Not only is information technology our central right that cannot be taken away by whatsoever person, it is besides our guaranteed right. Nosotros must practice information technology for the benefit of our autonomous procedure.

What is automated electoral system?

Under Section ii of Republic Deed [RA] No. 9369,
RA No. 9369

which amended Republic Act No. 8436,
RA No. 8346

an “Automated Election System” or “AES” is a procedural structure, using advisable technology, which has been demonstrated in the voting, counting, consolidating, canvassing, and transmission of ballot result, and other electoral procedure.

The term “automated,” every bit defined by Cambridge Lexicon
Cambridge Dictionary: Automated
 is a system carried out by machines or computers without needing man control.

With the help of advanced and advisable technology, all activities concerning balloter processes tin be carried out swiftly and compared to the previous manual ballot-type elections, the results are obviously faster.

Other Balloter Processes

What are these other electoral processes, other than the National and Local Election contemplated? Under the Constitution, the telescopic of the right to suffrage is not only confined with election.

This likewise includes plebiscite, plebiscite, initiative, and call back. All of which are constitutionally protected rights that involve the voice of the  majority public in connectedness with the administration of our authorities.

The Philippines is a representative democracy, meaning, we elect our representatives to run our government. With that reason, it is only proper that the correct to suffrage is not compromised, even if we shift to the automated electoral system.

First Automatic Election | PCOS Car

In the Philippines, the first nationwide fully automated election was held on May 10, 2010 using the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) auto.

PCOS motorcar is an electronic device that reads the votes of the electorate on the basis of a pen which has black markings, encircled, and shaded respective the proper name of the candidate, on a special type of newspaper used equally the election.

Since a PCOS motorcar is a data transmitter, right later on the conduct of ballot, the technician will send the information collected by the said machine to the cardinal server.

Information technology is equally if we are sending text messages using our cellphones or sending electronic mail via laptop or computer. The data are either sent via Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) like sending text messages, or via a Local Area Network (LAN) connection which uses internet signal.

Considering that the Philippines is an archipelago, there are remote areas in which GSM and LAN are not bachelor. The style of transmitting the data gathered by the PCOS is via satellite manual.

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What are the advantages of the automated election organization?

Since the AES is using technological advancements, the render of the votes to the board of canvassers are indisputably and undeniably faster than that of the traditional transmission ballot-type procedure.

One of the advantages is that the option of candidates is much easier and faster. Instead of manually writing the names of your preferred candidates, a voter will only shade the blank oval corresponding the name of the candidate he wants to vote.

The ballot paper consists of the names of all aspirants from National level positions to the Local level positions. The voter is likewise assured that whoever contender to whom he casted his precious vote is the one who will be read past the PCOS car.

Correct afterwards the voter inserts his ballot paper to the machine and after the election technician presses the PCOS automobile, it will generate a receipt reflecting the votes casted.

As to counting, the data gathered past the machine volition exist transmitted to the server from municipal or city level, then to the provincial canvassing centers all the way to national level.

Because that the transmission is every bit same as sending text messages, it volition not purchase fourth dimension for the physical delivery of the returns to the canvassing centers.

This will prevent the manual cheating washed in the previous elections wherein they volition tamper the election which will result to conflicting information as reflected in the Document of Canvass.

Moreover, PCOS machines have several security layers. There is a security fundamental which is needed to be inserted to the machine itself before it operates.

Some other security layer of the PCOS machine is the “encryption of the data. Information technology boasts a 256-bit symmetric algorithm. In order to bypass this encryption of information, you need at least 262,700,000,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity to solve it in one yr.”
Pinoy Technoguide, What is a PCOS Automobile and How Does it Work?

Thus, information technology is difficult for someone to alter the data to be sent to the central servers or to do the “dagdag-bawas” adulterous method, which was allegedly conducted when we were in the manual ballot type of ballot.

What are the disadvantages of automated elections in the Philippines?

With the growing global technological advancements, information technology is undisputed that there will always be glitches in the running of whatsoever automatic systems.

I of the glitches discovered by the Department of Science and Engineering was that the PCOS machine could give votes to a certain candidate or render the election equally invalid due to overvoting. This was glitch was referred to the Senate Committee on Electoral Reforms and Peoples Participation.

At that place are also reports of paper jamming when a voter inserts his ballot to the PCOS auto, or the PCOS machine itself refuses to have the ballot existence inserted to information technology.

As an improvised manual remedy, with the help of an umbrella or “walis tingting,” Election Officers will button the improperly stacked ballot papers to push in. There were also reported memory card malfunctions which made delays on the functioning of PCOS machines.
The PCOS car dejection: newspaper jams, rejected ballots and makeshift tools

Aside from intrinsic disadvantages, we look also with the extrinsic factors which hampers the operations of the PCOS Machine.

Taking into business relationship the archipelagic features of the country, there are far-flung communities that are bereft of signal and/or power. Electronic data transmissions will be an inevitable event.

In remote areas, information technology is undisputed that cellular signals are inherently weak thereby delaying the transmission of data collected by the PCOS machine. This will cause the election officers to physically deliver the memory cards to the nearest municipal server.

Likewise, power interruption is perchance the primary reason of delay in our AES. Without electricity, these automated machines will not operate. However, the PCOS machine has a back-up bombardment in cases of power interruptions.

How does the current electoral system touch the election?

The current electoral system has affected the ballot in and so many ways. To some, the present automated voting system has been a blessing; to others, information technology is a expletive.

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It is an undeniable fact that shifting to i system to another is a difficult and laborious process. It should undergo a lot of testing to ensure that it will be a solution to the current trouble and not another burden that would make things worse.

Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. There is no perfect system. However, what is important is that the disadvantages should not outweigh the advantages.

If these disadvantages outweigh the advantages, and so this should be automatically dropped since it might just pose another trouble rather than provide a solution.

The shift to the current balloter system has been convenient for many people since we now apply machines in counting the votes which makes it easier to count them. Hence, it saves a lot of time and effort.

The election personnel have less work now since they do not have to manually count these tons of votes which would require a huge amount of time before they get to terminate tabulating the results.

The electric current electoral organization made elections more convenient to both the voters and the ballot personnel. Consequently, at this juncture, it should exist considered a blessing.

What are some bug and challenges experienced in the comport of automated elections?

No matter how promising a sure solution is to a particular problem, there would always exist issues that would arise in its implementation.

In that location is no perfect patch to any problem. Virtually of the time, the solution creates another problem. However, and so again, what needs to be taken into consideration is the amount of benefits we can get from that solution rather than the problems.

Cheating is the topmost event people, specially voters, want to be empathically addressed, specially when it comes to the conduct of automated elections.

The voters, themselves, debate that the conduct of automatic elections is susceptible to cheating and election fraud since machines are the ones who volition exist checking the ballots.

Wile this volition be a recurring issue, we have to sympathise that machines accept certain limitations. They only function based on what they’re programmed to do unlike people who can become beyond their job description.

Fake ballots have always been a dilemma during elections. People fear that, since our elections now are automatic, false ballots would proliferate, and exist prevalent, and these machines would not be able to detect such ballots.

Thus, this casts doubt to the credibility of elections. But so again, at that place is no such thing every bit a perfect system. What is important is that we tin gain more than benefits rather than burdens.

Problems faced during actual voting

It is every person’s right to vote. All the same, a lot of people nonetheless do non exercise this right because to them information technology is an inconvenience. They practice non see the importance of this correct.

This is because at that place are a lot of drawbacks during actual voting such as long queues, no proper ventilation in the precincts, lack of staff to assist the voters especially those who are suffering from certain incapacities, and even bug arising from the voting paraphernalia itself.

These are some of the problems faced during bodily voting by people. These eventually accept discouraged them to vote again next ballot.

These issues should be addressed in order to encourage people to do their correct to suffrage in a convenient and efficient mode.

Voters should not experience unnecessary stress during actual voting because they would merely hate information technology even more. As we know, most people are brusk-tempered.

More than allocating budget for elections, the same should be properly utilized to take a smooth and convenient ballot, hence, spending it appropriately.

Will online voting be possible, or volition information technology exist allowed, under existing laws, taking into consideration the harmful effects of the pandemic?

One of the struggles that our democracy is facing these trying times is to secure the credibility and integrity of balloter processes while protecting the voters from the covid-19 virus and sustaining the public health.

Many governments are expanding new systems of voting. Nonetheless, here in the Philippines, the Commission on Elections condemned the possibility of online voting mainly because it is non authorized by law.

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What the Philippine law allows is the use of an automated election system in the national or local elections to ensure the credible, orderly, gratis and peaceful exercise of election processes in the country.

Certainly, online voting can protect the voters from the possible risks of corona virus. Withal, on the opposite, information technology may threaten the brownie and legitimacy of elections, thereby, being a danger to our commonwealth.

The computers and technology in this twenty-four hours and age tin can easily be hacked as we tin can meet from the recurring news most extensive stealing of data and information in the government.

Aside from that, the dangers of online voting also include those voters who are not technologically inclined and may easily be fooled by anyone to vote those candidates who are really reverse to their choice.

What are the Philippines Laws affecting election?

In that location are considerable number of laws which affect the election in the Philippines. The contempo police force is the Fair Election Deed of 2018,
RA No. 11207

which amended Section 11 of Democracy Human activity No. 9006.

Republic Act 9006
RA No. 9006

is also known as “An Human activity to Enhance the Holding of Free, Orderly, Honest, Peaceful, Credible Elections through Off-white Election Practices”.

This Act was created to  ensure that the qualified candidates who are running for public office are free from any form of corruption, discrimination and harassment. It also provides for the fair and compatible system of election entrada for the candidates.

Some other law is the Republic Act No. 6388
RA No. 6388

or the Election Code of 1971, this constabulary on the other hand brings out the powers of the commission on election in promulgating the election processes for in the country.

Information technology also designates the date of election menstruum in the regular elections for National and local offices likewise equally the dominion on the possibilities of postponement and failure of ballot.

Lastly, the Voter’southward Registration Act of 1996.
RA No. 8189

This law is designed to organize the present processes of registration in order to maintain a clean, permanent, complete, and updated system of providing the list of voters.

Precursor Laws

During Postal service Martial Constabulary Era, the Philippine Congress enacted the Bus Election Police force,
B.P. 881

which was the so known Batas Pambansa [BP] Blg. 881. This had set the process for the behave of the 1986 Snap Election and the serial of national and local elections thereafter.

In 1991, the Philippine Congress again enacted Commonwealth Act No. 7166
RA No. 7166

or otherwise known as the human action of Human activity Providing for Synchronized National and Local Elections and For Electoral Reforms, Authorizing Appropriations Therefor, and for Other Purposes.

This later law has been in effect until the Country transitioned into automated process in the twelvemonth 2010.

Terminal Perspective

Next yr’southward ballot would have been only the aforementioned kind but like the by years where it not for this pandemic. Due to physical distancing requirements required this pandemic, election campaigns cannot exist conducted in the usual manner.

Just like the famous quote “it is during the worst times where you volition get to see the true colors of the people around you”- the well-nigh applicable quote on what nosotros are experiencing now.

It is during this time where nosotros will get to run into the true colors of the people who say they care for usa. Individuals declaring their intention to run are seen inappropriate, and insensitive during a pandemic.

Public officials seeking re-election can be seen capitalizing or taking advantage of the pandemic crisis as part of their campaign.

Whether this pandemic will have long-lasting effects to our 2022 Ballot remains vague. Nevertheless, what we are sure of is that our fight against this virus should not undermine our fundamental right to vote.

This upcoming election is however some other chance for us to exist more than vigilant and wise in electing our next set of leaders. Nosotros have the power to cull our leader. It it our fundamental right to vote and let us now waste this precious right.

Was the 2022 Philippine automated election system (AES) hacked?

Source: https://ralblaw.com/philippine-automated-election-2022-national-local-election/