Precinct Automated Tallying System (PATaS): An Alternative Solution to Smartmatic
June 3, 2015
It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes. – Joseph Stalin
There is a proposed alternative election system solution called TCReS (Transparent and Credible Election System) now called PATaS to the Smartmatic PCOS, and designed by TransparentElections.org.ph led by Gus Lagman with the participation of the IT team from Namfrel. The group did a brief presentation to the new Comelec Chair Any Bautista joined by Commissioner Louie Guia and new Commissioners Bing Guanzon and Sheriff Abbas.
Under the proposed system, “the counting of ballots will be done manually but in conjunction with laptop counting or automated canvassing.”
Aside from being Filipino-made, “PATAS is better than the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in that the public can witness the actual canvassing of ballots.” Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista’s only request was that Lagman present an end-to-end demonstration – from the casting of ballots up to the election results – using the PATaS system.”
Lagman ended his presentation with the disclosure “TransparentElections is not a vendor of election systems. It is offering the PATaS solution to the COMELEC (at no charge) because it believes that it is the most appropriate system for Philippine elections.”
Features of the IDEAL system (PATaS has all of them)
1. All steps transparent to the voting public
Manual voting and precinct tallying
Two “trusted” documents – the ballot and the Election Returns (ER)
ER data and canvassing results in digital format available in a public website (any one can do his own tabulation and compare with official results)
All data and results quickly verifiable to their original source document – the ER, a “trusted” document
2. Software available for review by the public
3. Automated canvassing; therefore, can be completed within a week
4. No training on use of any machine for >50M voters
5. Cost effective at about P4B (Comelec only acquires laptops, projectors, servers, printers, transmission facilities, project management)
6. All the equipment can be donated to public schools after each election; therefore, no storage and maintenance expenses; reduced logistics
7. Not dependent on the trustworthiness of the implementers
Should the COMELEC adopt PATaS, then they only need to …
1. Bid out laptops, projectors, servers, printers, and communications facilities (buy the machines from suppliers in major cities, or through DBM; reduced logistics for Comelec)
2. Bid out management and implementation of the project (one management firm per region or group of regions to spread out task)
Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a Content Strategist with over 16 years experience in blogging, content management, citizen advocacy and media literacy and over 26 years in web development. Otherwise known as @MomBlogger on social media, she believes in making a difference in the lives of her children by advocating social change for social good.
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Updated June 6, 2022