The latest survey by pollster Pulse Asia Research showed 83% of people who voted in the 2022 election found the results trustworthy and credible
July 20, 2022
Elie Moreno, vice president of Smartmatic’s Global Services unit, has been traveling to the Philippines for work for more than a decade. He sees most Filipinos as friendly, happy and generous people and that has rubbed off on him. The other takeaway from his experiences in the Philippines is an understanding of large-scale election deployments. “I learn something new with each election, and I incorporate it into my thinking and the methodology I use with other Smartmatic clients so we can continuously improve.”
To date, Smartmatic has supported five national elections in the Philippines since 2010, as well as a regional pilot in 2008. These national elections represent the world’s largest deployments of e-counting machines. Between 80,000 and 107,000 devices used per election. From the Netherlands, where Elie resides, he tells us more about the challenges and lessons learned while helping the Philippine electoral commission, Comelec, execute their elections.
For Elie, the best news is Filipinos' confidence in their elections. Since the first deployment in 2010, the voters’ trust in their automated voting system has only gotten higher and higher. The latest survey by pollster Pulse Asia Research showed 83% of people who voted in the 2022 election found the results trustworthy and credible. In the past, when elections were manual, that figure did not exceed 30%
Each election in every country has unique challenges. In the Philippines most are technical and logistical. The country is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, and is home to Manila, one of the most populated cities in the world. Although the official languages are Tagalog and English, Filipinos speak more than 165 languages, which poses additional challenges. But for Elie, this only makes the project more exciting. “The most important thing is that you always learn something new in the Philippines.”
When we asked Elie what elements he considers essential in the electoral deployments in the Philippines, he said without hesitation: “People. Without a doubt, the key to success for any organization is people. The dedication of the teams, the collaborative and tireless work between different units, and the support to the client, always.”
Elie has witnessed Comelec's efforts to modernize its elections and build trust in the results. “That 90% of Filipinos want to continue with the automated electoral system is not a coincidence. It is the result of the tireless work of the electoral authorities of the Philippines, in their relentless push to take their electoral system to another level.”
Filipinos are not only trusting the automated electoral system and the election results more and more, but their election authorities, too. The latest PUBLiCUS Pahayag survey shows that Comelec enjoys at 66% approval rating, one of the highest among Philippine government agencies.
“These figures fill me with satisfaction because Smartmatic always has the success of the clients in mind. We are always thinking of greater goals: the confidence of citizens in the results and the stability that this engenders in those nations. It is the most important thing for us, and we leave no stone unturned to achieve it,” concludes Elie.