Sunday, March 21, 2010

South Australia Elections 2010

South Australia held its elections last Saturday so Steven and his parents took me to their polling station in Nuriootpa. I cannot help but notice the differences.

They were able to check their names on the list without showing any ID card. That means a person can vote in behalf of his bedridden relative or friend.
The ballot boxes are made of flimsy carton. No locks. No glass windows. Anyone can just put in a counterfeit ballot and nobody will even know the difference.

During the counting, more than one person can touch the ballots. In fact, I saw around six people touching the ballots in a single polling precinct. It is so easy to slip in a few extra ballots if a candidate told me to do so.

I am not sure why the security in Australian elections is so absent. Maybe, they trust each other? I really doubt that especially with the lies that are told during the campaign period. Can someone explain why it is very easy to cheat here?
In the Philippines, we used to have metal ballot boxes with glass windows and pad locks. Only one or two people are allowed to touch the ballots. ID cards are very important--one cannot vote without it.

The upcoming Philippine election will present the first automated system. There won't be metal ballot boxes but an electronic counting machine that will do its job when the voter feeds the ballot in to it. At the end of the day, the results are sent via GSM.
I am not saying that there is no cheating in the Philippines because it still happens despite the security measures. I will not be even surprised loopholes are found in the present automated system. I am actually doubtful if election is truly democratic.

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