By Leslie Ann Aquino
The recent May 13, 2019 midterm polls recorded the highest accuracy rate compared to the three previous automated elections in the country.
This as the Random Manual Audit conducted by the Commission on Elections RMA Committee reported an overall accuracy rate of 99.9953 percent of the vote counting machines (VCMs).
The initial report of the RMA Committee revealed that the accuracy rate in 2010 was at 99.5980 percent while in 2013 it was at 99.9747 percent and 99.9027 percent in 2016.
Based on the 2019 RMA, the accuracy rate for the senatorial votes was at 99.9971 percent; for members of the House 99.9946 percent; and 99.9941 percent for mayor.
Asked as to where do they attribute the high accuracy rate, Comelec RMA Committee head Commissioner Luie Guia cited the improved process adopted by the poll body.
“It is probably because of the process that we adopted. We centralized the auditing unlike before that it is done in the field. We can say that this year’s audit process is more orderly,” he said in a press briefing.
When asked if the high accuracy rate means that the machines of Smartmatic is fraud-free, other members of the RMA Committee Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) had this to say.
“What we observed during the RMA process we can say that, but what we did was only up to the precinct level to test the accuracy of the machines. Based on the sample, it showed there were just minor variances that were noted,” Tomasa Lipana of the PICPA said.
“One issue that was addressed is the voter receipt allegedly showing different results. We didn’t see any such case among the 711 ballot boxes that were audited,” Lente Executive Director Rona Caritos said.
Guia, however, stressed that their report is just preliminary and that they will come out with the final report and recommendations later.
The random manual audit is mandated by law under Section 29 of the Poll Automation Law. It is the process of determining the accuracy of the results of the automated election system for the National and Local elections in the country.
The manual audit of 711 out of the 715 clustered precincts from 246 legislative districts was completed by the RMA Committee on June 5.