Smartmatic claims: “Votes tallied & Presidential Winner known in Record Time in Philippines Election”

The Smartmatic claims below may be found on the Smartmatic website here.

Smartmatic electoral Solution Delivers First Ever national Automated Election in THE Philippines

Largest Election Ever by Private Company: Nearly 80,000 Voting Machines Deployed

Smartmatic voting solution delivers 100% accuracy, reliability and auditability

Manila, Philippines, May 12, 2010 – In the wake of the first automated national election in the Philippines, Smartmatic today announced that its voting solution performed with complete reliability and accuracy. During the election, the machines transmitted accurately, rapidly and reliably, and after the polls closed, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) certified the results, which were accepted by the representatives of the different political parties.

“Today’s election was an important step forward for the Philippines,” said Jose Melo, Chairman at COMELEC. “By automating our voting process we are able to deliver a faster, more transparent and accurate election and final vote tally. The fact that all parties accepted the results, which have been delivered in record time, is a testament to the success of our automated election.”

In the closely monitored election, most voters selected Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as president. The votes were tallied in record time, marking the first-time a victor was known within 12 hours.

Additional Key electoral statistics include:

  • Transmitted Votes: 92% in 24 hours
  • Machine replacement .59% or 486 PCOS out of 76,347
  • First election result report Delivered in 1 hour after closing
  • Overall Voter turn out 80%
  • Electronic Voting machines used: 76,347
  • Time to Cast Vote: Less than 6 minutes
  • Voting Machine Support Technicians: 48,000
  • Geography: 7,107 islands comprising the archipelago

SMARTMATIC SOLUTION: SIMPLIER, FASTER + MORE RELIABLE

The voters in the Philippines used Smartmatic’s voting solution, which was able to significantly reduce the time needed to cast and transmit votes. Upon the closing of the polls, the machines counted the votes within seconds and transmitted the results to the Canvassing Servers. Less than 24 hours later, more than 90% of all the results had been transmitted and tallied.

This marks a drastic improvement from all Philippine elections to date where it often took months before the final election results were delivered. In the past, the long delays in election results frequently led to social unrest, disputed results and fraud allegations.

“The speed, transparency and universal acceptance of the election results is evidence that our electoral solution aides the democratic process,” said Antonio Mugica, CEO of Smartmatic.

SELECTED QUOTES:

The following are selected quotes taken from news reports noting officials supporting the use of e-voting in the election:

“The new electronic voting was a great leap forward for ensuring a smooth and protected vote. It was a fulfillment of the automation that we pushed for from the start… To all who made automation a reality and a success, congratulations!! | Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, President of the Philippines

“I had the privilege of observing the electoral process (…) and was impressed by the manner in which this first nation-wide automated election was conducted. Voters seemed generally comfortable with this new system, turn-out was high, and the automation process seemed to work well, with relatively few technical hitches” | Alistair MacDonald, EU Ambassador to the Philippines.

“Our observations suggested that this process was carried out smoothly, and the results transmitted rapidly, in the great majority of cases” | Alistair MacDonald, EU Ambassador to the Philippines.

“… That’s the beauty of automation. There’s no room for cheating” | Tita de Villa , Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

“The success of the elections would be a feather in the cap of the Comelec, Smartmatic-TIM, the police and military” | Gary Olivar, Deputy presidential spokesperson.

“I’m smiling again. The automation is a success” | Jose Melo, Chairman of Comelec.

“This only shows that we can pull this through. The conduct of the poll automation proves our critics wrong” | Gregorio Larrazabal, Comelec Commissioner.

“The Embassy of the United States extends warm congratulations to the people of the Philippines for achieving another milestone in their nation’s democratic history with the May 10 elections” | Embassy of the United States in the Philippines.

***

About Smartmatic Smartmatic is a multinational company that designs and deploys technological solutions aimed at helping governments fulfill, in the most efficient way, their commitments with their citizens. It is one of the largest cutting-edge technology suppliers, with a wide and proven experience in the United States, Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Smartmatic’s competitive strength lies on its cutting-edge technology and expertise in three key areas: Election Solutions, Identity Management Solutions and Public Safety Solutions.

2 Comments

  1. Michael Schofield
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Somebody told a story about cheating and I tried to write it this way. Could you tell me if the following are possible ways to cheat the PCOS system of smartmatic.

    Some Ways of Cheating the PCOS system

    1. Reconfigured and hidden executable programs in the compact flash disks:

    A. Pre-programming done on the CF Cards- Supposedly, 76,340 CF cards were changed and “reconfigured” in just a few days. The CF cards could have been already embedded with “election results” that would be read by the PCOS to print a pre-determined election return and then it is transmitted electronically to the Comelec or Board of Canvassers.

    The technicians who reconfigured the program of the CF Cards may or may not have known that they are loading the CF cards with hidden executable programs that will be triggered to give false Election Returns and then it will also transmit the false electronic election returns. As a result, the hard copy election return and the electronic election return will be identical even if both are false. This will lead the watchers and the public to believe that there was no cheating and it will be difficult to catch the fraud.

    CF Cards: compact-flash cards, the brand that is used is the Secure Digital (SD) is a non-volatile memory card format developed by Matsushita, ScanDisk, and Toshiba for use in portable devices. You can buy this CF Card at your local CD-R King Store. Anyone can save a data on their flash drives? So why can’t a CF card? Any IT competent person knows this.

    B. Re-programming of CF Cards through hacking –

    IT experts say that a hacker may find a way to get into the PCOS system through the transmission devices then re-program or embed an executable program to be read and followed by the PCOS.

    The transmission devices are holes in the system that a hacker may get into. For instance, the cellular based modem to be used by the PCOS will have a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), a copper based cards, as instructed on COMELEC manuals that will be used to transmit data and used to digitally sign the sender to the recipient module. If a hacker will just locate a signal base of the SIM cards that will be used, then the transmission and the PCOS will be compromised.

    Every transmission has its flaws, try to use your laptop or cellular phone which has wireless capability and try to detect wireless networks in your area, the wireless system comes from a TELCO, a end user service, the main platform on delivering the system is via Microwave drums you see on top of buildings.

    PCOS machine were opened on election day and there were many reports that the transmission cable and the modem were attached (“intentionally”) even before the end of the voting period or prior to 7 pm.

    The PCOS machines and modem were attached because allegedly Comelec officials asked the BEI to check the transmission devices earlier than what was required.

    Many of the PCOS machines were also opened and the modems were attached as early as 3 days before the election because of the “Final Testing and Sealing”. IT IS FUNNY THAT THE PPCRV GUIDELINES FOR ITS WATCHERS INSTRUCTED THEM THAT THE TRANSMISSION DEVICES WILL BE ATTACHED. HOWEVER, THE RESOLUTION OF THE COMELEC PROVIDED THAT THE TRANSMISSION DEVICES WILL NOT BE ATTACHED.

    The PCOS was then vulnerable to hacking because the transmission lines were open and can be compromised. The hackers entered several PCOS machines and embedded a program or a saved a false election result in the CF Card that the PCOS will read.

    What is scary is that the hacker can enter and embed an executable program on the CF cards in fractions of a second!!!

    Since there is a false election result embedded in the CF Cards then the PCOS will print an election return and transmit an electronic election return based on the embedded program and not based on the actual ballots that were inserted in the PCOS.

    Since the false election return will be identical to the false transmitted electronic election return, the fraud is difficult to detect.

    2. Pre-marking, pre-insertion, pre-scanning, and pre-counting of original copies of ballots….

    There were election returns in Bacoor, Cavite where 224 precincts got 10 or less votes per precinct. The BEI sent the results of the final testing and sealing held days before May 10, 2001.

    This could only mean one thing, the CF Cards also saved the results in the testing and sealing even if the vote counters were returned to zero and there was an actual voting on May 10, 2001. CF Cards saved or stored two kinds of data- (1) the testing and sealing results and (2) the actual results on May 10. Thus, the fact that the BEI was still able to transmit the result of the earlier final testing and sealing reveals that the PCOS can send any earlier count of ballots and not send the results of the count of ballots on the actual election day.

    It is a fact that in several areas, the final testing and sealing did not occur because there were already delays in the delivery of the PCOS machine and delay in the delivery of the CF cards.

    Prior to delivery of PCOS machines to the election officers or BEI, a cheater can use original duplicate copies of ballots for a particular precinct that are pre-marked and pre-inserted in the PCOS machine. The results are counted and the results stored in the machine’s CF Cards. The pre-marked ballots are taken and destroyed.

    (News reports: The existence of extra original duplicate copies have been surrendered to Manila Times Columnist Buddy Cunanan.)

    Come election day, voters inserted the real ballots and then the PCOS will also count and store the result in the CF Cards.

    However, when the BEI moves to print the election returns, the PCOS will only read the results of the early insertion of the pre-marked ballots and also transmit such earlier results to the Comelec and Board of Canvassers.

    The hard copy of the election return will be consistent with the electronically transmitted election return to Comelec even the results were based on the pre-marked ballots making it difficult to detect.

    “Comelec Res. No. 8823, SEC. 2. Custody of the PCOS machines and accessories. – SMARTMATIC-TIM shall have custody of the PCOS machines and accessories during transport from the central warehouse to the hubs or subhubs, and up to the polling centers.
    The custody shall shift to the Election Officer concerned when the PCOS machines and accessories are turned-over to the corresponding BEIs. For this purpose, upon delivery of the PCOS machines and accessories to the designated polling places, the BEIs shall receive said machines and accessories for and in behalf of the Election Officer. In no case shall these machines and accessories be left in the said polling places without any security.
    After the conduct of elections, the BEIs shall turn-over the PCOS machines to the SMARTMATIC-TIM technicians. At this point, the custody of the PCOS shifts back to SMARTMATIC-TIM. Thereafter, the SMARTMATIC-TIM shall have custody and responsibility over the PCOS machines for their retrieval and transport back to the Central Warehouse.”

    A cheater will only have to get access to 18,000 to 19,000 PCOS to able to pre-mark or insert 15,000,000 ballots while in the hands of Smartmatic or while in the possession of some election officers prior to delivery to the polling centers and the BEI.

  2. Roberto Verzola
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Wow, that’s quite a comprehensive analysis. It will take time to respond to each point. Regarding the possibility of executable programs, it is hypothetically possible. You might be thinking of the video “Hacking Democracy” involving Diebold machines. There are some differences between the Diebold and the Smartmatic machines. It seems to me the Diebold files were not encrypted, while the Smartmatic files are. This made it easier for Hursti to implement his hack. In the Smartmatic case, though the encrypted files make it harder, but they also make a public audit of the whole system harder, because the system is not transparent at all.

    But I’d like to add that you don’t need executable programs in the CF card. If you can change the configuration files, you can also cheat by playing with the coordinates of the ovals associated with particular candidates. However, you need to break the encryption (not easy), and this method can implement vote shaving (“bawas”) but not vote padding (“dagdag”).

    Although you are worried about outside hackers, insiders can do the cheating much more easily, because they would know how to break the encryption system.

    Indeed, if the modem and its cable were already attached before the actual voting period, then that’s a big problem that suggests unauthorized access into the machine.

    I also agree with your analysis about the testing data being preserved, even after the May 10 data are zeroed. This means the PCOS machine keeps two version of voting data in its memories, which is malicious. PPCRV findings also suggest that the PCOS machine could be instructed to print either the test or the May 10 data, and to transmit the test or the May 10 data. The existence of these hidden commands are another instance of malicious code. If false data involving several hundred votes were entered during the testing phase (and done secretly), then it is possible the BEI printed and then transmitted this false set of data, instead of the May 10 data.

    So most of what you have written are indeed possible (I can’t say for sure yet if there’s one that is not). The challenge is to find out which of the cheating possibilities were actually used on May 10. That requires solid evidence.

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