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Can you trust modernized voting?


Can you trust modernized voting?

There’s always a hint of skepticism surrounding the modern way we go about voting. Should we put our faith in modernity or not?

The election for this year is the spiciest its ever been, with a lot of shade and allegations floating around. Naturally, people will look at every possible reason as to why their candidate may not win, and one easy target for allegation is the unreliability of vote-counting machines.

VCM opens an avenue to cheat the election

Not really. The purpose of vote-counting machines is to do exactly what it says, to count votes. Like other examples of technology, performance issues are not unheard of which is why some VCMs tend to fail. This however, doesn’t automatically mean something sketchy, it’s just what it is, a piece of technology having performance issues. Thankfully, Comelec has provided contingency procedures.

According to Comelec, you can either proceed with voting, sign a waiver, and let the Electoral Board batch-feed the ballots before the polls close, or you can wait for the issue to be resolved to personally feed your ballot.

Vote-counting machines also have multiple security layers making it hard to alter the number of votes. In addition, VCMs also have data encryption with a 256 – bit symmetric algorithm. In case of a power failure, VCMs have a backup battery that can last up to 12 hours and an option to send election returns through satellite communication.

What makes modernized voting bad?

Modernized voting integrated machines and automated systems to make the election process efficient. However, this also opened the door for certain limitations. Aside from failing to work entirely, some of their limitations is that they can sometimes glitch. Vote-counting machines can also jam or refuse to accept a ballot.

But machines shouldn’t be blamed entirely. Human error have as much to do with putting a smear on the perspective on modernized voting. For example, the recent data breach with Smartmatic was caused by a rogue employee.

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Should you trust it or not?

Fully trusting the modern system of voting is a tough ask given the amount of issues we’ve heard. But we have to understand the reason we are in this situation. We need technology to improve, if we were still using the old election system where votes are manually counted, cheating would be a lot easier.

While there are a few disadvantages, the advantages we’ve gained in security and efficiency are enough to justify why we should put a little more faith in the technology that helps us.

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