New automated election provider passes muster

SMARTMATIC aside, the Spanish firm Indra Sistemas has qualified to supply the Commission on Elections with P2 billion worth of new automated vote-counting machines for the 2016 presidential elections.

Indra Sistemas, a leading multinational firm in Europe and Latin America, presented vote-counting machines that were more advanced than the previous precinct count optical scan machines by Smartmatic that were used in the 2013 elections.

Demonstration. David Lopez, a representative of Indra Sistemas,
shows how the company’s vote-counting machines work during a
presentation at the Commission on |Elections on Friday. Danny Pata
The company demonstrated before the Comelec its new machines that had 54 features and were supposed to be foolproof.

Archibald Demata, lead counsel of Indra Sistemas, said their voting machines had more advanced technology and were easier to operate compared with the old PCOS machines of Smartmatic that were used in the previous elections.

The three-year-old Smartmatic PCOS machines are said to be obsolete. A number those machines encountered glitches during the 2013 elections. 

The Spain-based Indra Sistemas and Venezuelan-headquartered Smartmatic-Tim were the only ones who met the eligibility requirements and initial technical proposals set by the Comelec’s Bids and Awards Committee.

The other companies that initially showed interest in supplying 23,000 Optical Mark Readers worth P2.07 billion were Miru Systems Co., Election Systems and Software, and E-Konek Pilipinas Inc.

One of the solutions presented by Indra was its electronic poll book for easy identification and verification of voters. The EPB is said to be able to identify and verify a voter using an automated fingerprint identification system or via scanning any type of ID.

The poll book is said to be able to work without an external power supply for more than 12 hours and can be pre-loaded with the list of voters in a specific precinct, which allows the system to work with no connection to a central database.

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