Carter Center lauds 1st Philippine nation-wide automated election with Smartmatic’s technology

Manila, August 10th, 2011.- The Carter Center, a global peace and health advocacy nongovernment organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, deployed a limited electoral observation mission to the 2010 Philippines' May 10 election as part of its Democratic Election Standards project, which includes addressing the challenges of observing electronic voting technologies as a core component. 

The mission observed in its final report on last year's Philippine elections that "the results transmission was generally successful, with Comelec and the technology vendor, Smartmatic, working in concert to provide necessary assistance to poll workers through written instructions expert assistance and a national call center."

"The country's first-ever automated voting was marked by relatively high public confidence and trust on the use of the optical mark recognition technology. Such a success is a credit to the hard work of Comelec and Smartmatic as well as the commitment of the people of the Philippines toward increasingly transparent elections," the Carter Center added in its final report that was released recently.

Other recommendations of the group were for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and its board of election inspectors (BEIs) to increase technical capacity in administering polls using automated election system (AES); ensure that the election calendar provides adequate time for implementation of all stages of automation; conduct pre-election testing in a real-world setting at an earlier date to ensure adequate time to correct any issues identified; consider expanding the number of polling stations and dividing larger clustered precincts to minimize delays; among others.

The Carter Center observers focused on the functionality of the automated technology, its impact on the election process and the fulfillment of necessary rights, and public confidence in the system. You can read the full report here.

Respectable polling firms like the Social Weather Stations, Pulse Asia and StratPOLLS in separate surveys have also affirmed the public perception that the elections were, for a change, generally clean and credible, largely due to the speedy and accurate results of the elections delivered by Comelec and Smartmatic as its technology provider.

It is of major value for Smartmatic, as a leading global provider of technology solutions and services, to acknowledge this report and feedback from the Carter Center and all other international recognized electoral observer organizations that joined the success of the first Philippine national automated election. "This report is only one step forward in the process of building confidence in our technology within the Asian market. We are pleased with the 2010 project approval inside and out of the country and, we continue to be fully committed to the Philippines and the plans that the Comelec will lead, in order to keep the nation as a role model on automated elections," said César Flores, Smartmatic APAC President.