Computerized elections secure, accurate, says programmers’ head

Keeping votes safe and correct need not be a problem in the upcoming University Student Council (USC) elections. Rystraum Gamonez, University of the Philippines Linux Users Group (UnPLUG) president, assured student voters this year’s fully computerized election system would run smoothly as planned.

By Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente
Tinig ng Plaridel / UPJourn.net

Keeping votes safe and correct need not be a problem in the upcoming University Student Council (USC) elections.

Rystraum Gamonez, University of the Philippines Linux Users Group (UnPLUG) president, assured student voters this year’s fully computerized election system would run smoothly as planned.

“The possibility of it being hacked is very low. In the event that someone attempts to do so, it will be easily detected by our computer server.” Gamonez said.

Votes would also be immediately confirmed after being “cast,” thus eliminating the possibility of multiple voting. “The system blocks any attempt to re-vote using the same issued user name and password,” Gamonez said.

Gamonez also guaranteed tamper-free election results since the processing of the ballots would only involve retrieval of votes from various colleges. “The only physical paper that has to be handled would be the final and certified election results that would be printed out,” he said.

UnPLUG’s technical team, which developed the “Halalan” automated voting system, has been working closely with the UP Computer Center and the University Student Electoral Board to facilitate the elections.

“There will be at least one UnPLUG volunteer at each precinct on election day. They will monitor the use of software and offer assistance if needed,” Gamonez said.

According to a Philippine Collegian report, at least 22,000 students would cast their votes in UP Diliman on Wednesday, with polls closing at 7:00 P.M.. The votes would be counted soon after.

“Halalan”, already a fixture in some UP dormitory council elections, was first used by the College of Engineering and the School of Statistics in the 2007 university vote.

Last year, three more units adapted the system: the College of Mass Communication, the School of Library and Information Science, and the College of Business Administration.

Author: TNP

The Official Student Publication of the UP College of Mass Communication.