Mayor backs manual casting, canvassing of votes

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BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wants that the casting and canvassing of votes in the precinct level will be reverted to manual ode while the canvassed results in the precinct level will be the one to be computerized to prevent untoward interventions that would cast doubts in the results of the upcoming May 2016 elections.

Domogan belied allegations by a certain Mr. Acosta, a former aide of Tarlac Gov. Margarita ‘Tingting’ Cojuangco, that the city treasurer’s office was ransacked after the May 2013 elections and that the elections returns were reportedly tampered.

He pointed out there were no official reports from the city treasurer, who was the custodian of the election returns and ballot boxes, that something went wrong or some election returns were stolen because they were properly kept coupled with the provision of adequate security measures.

“It would be unfair to drag the City of Baguio from the issue of cheating during the May 2013 elections. The best way to get rid of reports on cheating during the elections is to revert back to manual elections for the casting and canvassing of votes,” Domogan stressed.

He said manual casting and canvassing of votes in the precinct level guarantees transparency because voters and watchers of politicians can directly see the actual canvassing of votes for their chosen candidates.

According to him, what would be computerized will be the results of the elections in the precinct level which will be transmitted to the next level of canvassers up to the national level considering that the voters and watchers of concerned politicians were able to witness that votes were counted for their chosen candidates in the local up to the national level.

Because of the issues raised against the Precinct Count Optical Scan (OPCOS) machines during the past two elections, Mayor Domogan said the best option for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is to bring back the manual casting and canvassing of votes in the precinct level in order to remove doubts on the issues confronting the computerized elections, especially for the upcoming May 2016 synchronized national elections.

“We are worried that the results of the May 2016 elections will be tainted with doubts due to irregularities even with the computerized elections. Our voters have to be vigilant about the mode on how will the elections be done,” Domogan said.

He challenged the poll body to ensure the conduct of a credible, honest and orderly elections because a repeat of previous issues confronting the conduct of computerized elections will create chaos that would ruin whatever gains of previous administrations in terms of sustaining the country’s economic growth.

The local chief executive revealed that the audit conduct by the poll body in barangay Atok Trail right after the conduct of the May 2013 elections showed that the results of the computerized canvassing compared to the results of the manual audit showed significant discrepancies which is a reason for people to cast doubts in the credibility of the fully computerized elections.

Domogan still expressed confidence the Comelec can come out with a decision that would guarantee the conduct of a credible May 2016 elections in order to bring back the confidence of the electorate to the wisdom of computerized elections. By Dexter A. See

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