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‘Best voting system in the world’

01:55 AM March 12, 2016

In the interest of truth and fairness, I would like to comment on Ramon Tulfo’s column titled “Battle of American advisers” (Metro, 3/3/16) which made false statements about Smartmatic and our representatives.

Electronic voting plays a vital role in empowering citizens and strengthening democracy. It guarantees greater security, efficiency and transparency. We are proud of the contribution our technology has made to modernizing and strengthening democracies around the world, as well as the recognition we have received from independent observers such as the European Union, the United Nations, and the Carter Center which has cited Smartmatic as having “the best voting system in the world.”

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Tulfo said that Smartmatic machines can be manipulated. This is untrue. We have conducted more than 3,500 fraud-free elections worldwide since our establishment more than a decade ago. We know that it is impossible to hack our machines and we can present evidence to prove this. We use a range of mechanisms to safeguard the security and privacy of votes. Furthermore, all electronic results are encrypted and digitally signed. This is even more secure than the security protocols used by financial institutions to transact billions of dollars.

In the Philippines every precinct prints 30 copies of the local results, thus producing more than two million hard copies. Such physical evidence provides a robust auditing system. To date, in the Philippines alone, 1.5 billion votes have been transmitted with Smartmatic technology. Not a single discrepancy has been found between the printed copies of results and the electronically canvassed results by any entity, including the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting which audited the results in 2010 and 2013.

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Major political parties also received copies of the results and have never contested the consolidation of these results. Because of the security mechanisms and the unrivaled level of auditability that Smartmatic’s solutions provide, not a single politician or political party can ever influence the outcome of an election through our technology.

Tulfo also alleged that Smartmatic’s chair, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, has been hired as an adviser by one of the political parties involved in the 2016 presidential election. This is completely untrue. Lord Malloch-Brown is a highly respected global figure whose credentials include his being a former deputy secretary general of the United Nations and former vice chair of the World Economic Forum. He also served in the British Cabinet as minister of state. He would never be involved in any activity that would compromise our neutrality, which is one of our core guarantees. It is company policy to remain neutral, and strict internal policies forbid our personnel from taking an active role in promoting any political party.

If Tulfo wishes to look into a more detailed document disproving some of the most common myths about automated election, he may contact us at our office number: (02)745-1200 or he may e-mail lawyer Karen Jimeno, head of our voters’ education unit: [email protected]

—ELIE MORENO, general manager and project director, Smartmatic Philippines

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TAGS: Elections 2016, electronic voting, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, Smartmatic, voting receipts
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