Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Bloggers, students try out ARMM automated poll systems

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) invited bloggers and students last week to try out the automated systems that will be used in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections in August.

Initiated by members of Bloggers' Kapihan , 20 students and bloggers participated in mock elections, where actor Pierce Brosnan won as regional governor for ARMM over mock candidates Kevin Costner, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Al Pacino and Sharon Stone.

Vanessa Redgrave won as regional vice governor, beating Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Tom Jones, Jennifer Lopez, Brian McKnight and David Pomeranz, Comelec said in a recent blog posting.

"We invited bloggers because we believe them to represent a significant part of the general public that wants to be informed about the most recent developments in election automation," said Comelec spokesman and education and information director James Jimenez, in the poll body's blog.

In an interview, blogger and activist Mong Palatino said bloggers and students from the University of the Philippines Manila and the De la Salle University in Dasmarinas tried both the direct recording electronic (DRE) and the optical-mark reader (OMR) technologies, both of which are being deployed in the ARMM elections.

"They had fun doing it so we ended up doing mock elections," Palatino recalled.

He said Comelec also shared the history of automating elections in the Philippines, stressing that poll automation is "10 percent technology and 90 percent process."

Palatino said the bloggers and the students agreed that automating elections in ARMM would provide government lessons that could be applied during the national elections in 2010.

"A lot of questions were also asked about the systems' reliability," Palatino said.

Jimenez, who also blogs, said that blogging can be a powerful medium to share knowledge with the electorate, especially the youth.(Erwin Oliva; INQ.net)

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