2019 elections assessment: Worst!
MAY 22, 2019

SAME old song, Comelec has declared the 2019 automated elections successful! That was heard for the nth time and AES Watch was not surprised. On the contrary, AES Watch says otherwise. Let’s be objective and figure out the scorecard prepared by the election watchdog.

There were several AES Watch meetings convened at the University of the Philippines three months before the 2019 elections to rate the overall performance of the Comelec in the implementation of the automated election system (AES) law in the 2019 national and local elections (NLEs). The Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG), being the steering head of AES Watch, adopted the same grading sheet used in past poll exercises by classifying the critical major points that Comelec should have taken into serious consideration. The scorecard is called system transparency, accountability and readiness (STAR) card.

Presiding at the meetings, professor Temario C. Rivera, CenPEG board chair and co-convener of AES Watch, explained that the scoring was from “0” to “3” — 3 being the passing score or deemed compliant with the AES law (RA 9369).

Under transparency are 16 criteria that Comelec had to pass, to wit:


For accountability:

For readiness:


Hence, the AES Watch overall STAR card assessment of 2019 elections was “1” (Fail). This is similar to the past elections except that we experienced the worst so far based on the sheer number of technical problems, especially the mysterious seven-hour lull between May 13, 6 p.m. to May 14, 1 a.m.

For the 2022 presidential elections, AES Watch recommends a hybrid technology, where public counting (i.e., pure manual or computer-aided) is done in the precincts, while electronic transmission and consolidation, and canvassing would remain automated.

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