Every election is a measure towards our democracy which is besides a cause of jubilation for every state. It is a really old manner of taking leaders in the authorities and it started more than two thousand old ages ago in ancient Greece wherein male monarchs and Godheads govern the people who acquired it as their right at birth. Some were selected by the public but were given small powers. In Rome, it was besides used in the choice of Catholic Popes and Holy Roman emperors. Elections were besides used to choose rajas in Ancient India, calif in Ancient Arab and Pala king Gopala in early mediaeval Bengal. In the Philippines, long before the Spanish swayers governed the state, the Filipino indigens were already governed by a set of regulations by their head. As our state was under the control of different states, election system in the Philippines evolved until it reached the modern election that consists of public elections of authorities functionary wherein a elector chooses an person to keep public office to make full the offices in the legislative assembly and executive. Election through the exercising of the right of right to vote is considered as the basis of a representative authorities. It is the bedrock of all republican establishments. Each clip the enfranchised citizen goes to the polls to asseverate this crowned head will, that staying creed of republicanism is translated into life world.[ 1 ]It is through election that authorities gets the consent to regulate. Every state may differ on how they choose their leaders. Laws, regulations and processs may differ depending on the type of election that a state has adopted. As to the processs implemented, some states like Australia, Spain, Portugal and late Philippines, has been utilizing automated elections system. On the other manus, a state like Singapore has still been exerting their right of right to vote through manual election wherein they have to elect their president and premier curate through ballots.
I. SINGAPORE ‘S ELECTIONS SYSTEM
Singapore ‘s political model is that of a parliamentary democracy and of the President. Like Philippines, they besides have three separate subdivisions, viz. the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. Legislative power is exercised by both the authorities and the parliamentary. The bench on the other manus is independent of the executive and the legislative assembly. Executive power is exercised by the authorities.
There are two sorts of election in Singapore – parliamentary election and presidential election. In the former, voters choose a campaigner or group of campaigners for political office which is done through doing a ballot. The campaigner that garnered most of the ballots is elected and becomes a Member of the Parliament. On the other manus, in the latter, the campaigner with the most figure of ballots is elected and becomes the President of the Republic of Singapore. The Elected President is tasked to safeguard the state ‘s foreign modesty. He besides retains the power of veto over the assignment of civil retainers. The Cabinet is jointly responsible to the Parliament. It is under the controls of the Prime Minister who is person appointed by the Elected President. Like Philippines, Singapore is besides advised and represented by the Solicitor-General in both civil and condemnable affairs.
Qualifications to be a Voter
Section 5 of the Parliamentary Elections Act:
Qualification of voters – Subject to subdivisions 6 and 7, any individual who on the prescribed twenty-four hours in any twelvemonth –
Is a citizen of Singapore ;
Is ordinarily occupant in Singapore ;
Is non less than 21 old ages of age ; shall be entitled to hold his name entered or retained in a registry of voters in that twelvemonth.
To vote for their functionaries, one must possess the eligibility demands. He must be a citizen of Singapore which means that he must be a holder of pink National Registration Identity Card ( NIRC ) . This NRIC is mandatory for all its citizens and lasting occupants who are 15 old ages and supra. This NRIC comes in two chief colourss viz. pink for citizens and blue for lasting occupants. For election intents, what is required is that a elector must be a holder of pink NIRC. Another demand is that he must non be less than 21 old ages old and he is normally resident in Singapore. One is considered as an ordinarily occupant in Singapore if he resided in Singapore for an sum of 30 yearss during the period of 3 old ages instantly predating the prescribed day of the month, even though the individual is non resident in Singapore on that day of the month.[ 2 ]The “ prescribed day of the month ” will be the first of July or other day of the months as the Prime Minister may order. For intents of election, the reference stated in the designation card will be the footing at which you are normally resident. If an electorate possesses these makings and none of the disqualifications enumerated in Section 6 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, so he is entitled to hold his name entered in the registry of voters in that twelvemonth.
Register of Voters
A registry of voters is an official list of names and references of people populating in a specific country who are eligible to vote in local or national elections.[ 3 ]It contains information of every qualified voter of the electoral division concerned, the voter ‘s consecutive figure and the codification of the polling territory that the voter is shacking in. This registry of voters can be revised from clip to clip so that lone names of all individuals who are qualified to vote in the appropriate registries are entered in the registries of voters. However it shall be revised non subsequently than 3 old ages after every general election. After the alteration has been made, a notice shall be given to the populace that the registries have been revised and it the electorate are free to inspect the said revised registries of voters are that review centres. If one is non able to happen his name in the registry despite the fact that he is entitled to be entered in the registry, so he may use to the Registration Officer to hold his name entered in this. Conversely, if one finds his name in the registry of voters when he must non be included, so he may object to the inclusion of the registry of his ain name. He may besides object even if it pertains to another individual who must non be included in the registry. A elector is non entitled to be entered in the registry of voters and is hence disqualified to vote if he possesses one of the disqualifications as mentioned under the Disqualification of voters of the Parliamentary Elections Act.
Poll Card and Polling twenty-four hours
A elector whose name can be found in the registry of voter for a constituency and that the election in that constituency is contested, that elector will have a canvass card. A canvass card is a card that he will have which signifies or confirm that a elector ‘s name is in the registry of voter. It contains the day of the month and the topographic point where to vote. There must be a contested election because if there will be an uncontested election, it would intend that the figure of places that were unfastened for the said elections has the same figure of campaigners nominated. If that will be the instance, so no election will be conducted and the said campaigners will be declared punctually elected.
During the elections twenty-four hours, and at the polling station, a elector must show signifiers of designation for him to enable to vote. For intents of election, these signifiers of designation would merely include the National Registration Identity Card ( NIRC ) , Singapore passport and designation cards issued by Ministry of Defense, Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defense Force.
At the terminal of election, if a individual was non able to exert his right of right to vote, the Returning Officer will name his name together with those who were non able to vote and so this list will be passed to the Registration Officer. Upon the reception of the lists, the Registration Officer will take the names listed from the certified registry of voters. As an consequence, that individual removed from the registry of voters can non vote at any subsequent presidential or parliamentary election. Another consequence of such remotion is that he is disqualified from being a campaigner to any subsequent election, be it be presidential or parliamentary. However, he can hold his name back on the registry of voters anytime by using to the Registration Officer with a valid account of non voting. An invalid ground will be given a punishment of $ 50 to hold his name registered back in the registry of voters. Valid and sufficient ground for non voting would include working and analyzing overseas at the twenty-four hours of election. It would besides include populating with partner who is working or analyzing abroad and illness or presenting a babe.
If after holding your name restored to the Register of Electors because you were non able to vote in the old election and so presently you are shacking outside Singapore, so a elector can hold himself registered to hold himself as an abroad elector. A individual can measure up if he is a Singapore citizen non less than 21 old ages old and have resided in Singapore for a sum of 30 yearss during the 3-year period instantly January 1, 2011. He must non besides be disqualified from being an voter under any prevalent jurisprudence. Take note that a elector ‘s name must be in the Register of Voters for him to measure up. If his name is non found in the registry so he must foremost use for the Restoration of his name before he can use to be an abroad elector. An applier can use for enrollment of abroad elector anytime before the writ of election is issued because issue of this public papers signals the start of an election – issue of the writ by the President in a parliamentary election and by the Prime Minister in a presidential election. An applicant can register his duly completed and signed application signifier in individual at the Elections Department or at any of the abroad enrollment centres. With our progress engineerings today, an applicant can now use by station or by online at www.singpass.gov.sg. The Elections Department will so advise the applier on whether or non his application is granted. If it is granted, so the name of the abroad polling station assigned to the applier will be indicated in such presentment called poll-letter. Together with this poll-letter, the abroad elector must besides convey along with him to the abroad polling station his NRIC or passport for voting. This poll-letter when doomed will non strip a elector of his right to vote nevertheless it may protract the vote procedure because the elector must still be verified of his vote eligibility. The enrollment, if successful, will stay to exist until the Register of Electors will be revised or when you apply for cancellation of your enrollment. If the Register of Electors has been revised and the elector still wanted to be an abroad elector, so he must subject a new application for enrollment. As a regulation, an voter is merely allowed to vote one time during an election either in the abroad polling station or at the local polling station. If nevertheless, an abroad elector happens to be back in Singapore during the elections twenty-four hours, he can still vote. In this instance, the returnee overseas elector will be required to take a declaration that he has non voted elsewhere for the same election. It is merely after such declaration that such returnee abroad elector will be issued with a ballot paper and be allowed to vote.
The citizen of Singapore qualified by jurisprudence to vote may elect the President which shall be considered as the caput of the province and shall hold a term of 6 old ages. It was in 1992 that an amendment in the Constitution of Singapore took topographic point. This clip, it provided for a President to be elected by the people who has the duty to protect the militias of the state and has veto powers over apprehensions under the Internal Security Act and has the power to name authorities functionary. The election of President shall be held in the instance where the office of President becomes vacant prior to the termination of the term of office of the officeholder and a writ for the election has non been issued before such holiday of office or, if so issued, has already been countermanded – within 6 months after he day of the month the office of President becomes vacant ; or in any other instance – non more than 3 months before the day of the month of termination of the term of office of the officeholder.[ 4 ]The following presidential election in Singapore will be held on August 31, 2011. As mentioned earlier, writ of election signals the start of an election. This writ is issued by the Prime Minister addressed to the returning officer, who in bend has the duty to advise the populace of such writ of election through notice of election through publication in the Government Gazette four yearss before the nomination twenty-four hours. This public papers contains when the nomination will be every bit good as the topographic point of nomination. To be a Presidential campaigner, one must possess all the makings and none of the disqualifications as set Forth in Article 19 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore and to see to it that these has been complied dependably by the campaigner, the President Elections Committee ( PEC ) is given the undertaking to guarantee that the said campaigner fulfills the necessary makings. If PEC found that the applicant campaigner possess all the demands so it is the lone clip that it will publish a certification of eligibility. PEC is non mandated by the Constitution to supply grounds on its determinations it made with respect to whether a campaigner possess the makings. Absent of maliciousness in rendering such determination, the commission is immune from calumny suit in the event of dispatching its map under the Presidential Elections Act. A individual who received a certification of eligibility must subject to the returning officer its nomination paper, political contribution certification, a certain money sedimentation which would be returned if he is non nominated as a campaigner, retreat his campaigning or is even elected. If he is a losing campaigner, he can merely retrieve his sedimentation if he was able to acquire at least one-eighth of the entire figure of ballots casted. As what have been mentioned, he shall besides subject his political contribution certification. A political contribution certification is what the Registrar will publish after the campaigner has complied with the entry of his study sing contributions that he received from the allowed givers and declared that to his best cognition and belief, he did non received any other contributions aside from what has been stated in his study and that lone contributions permitted by jurisprudence has been accepted. At the stopping point of nomination, if merely one campaigner has been nominated, so that exclusive campaigner will be declared as the elective President. If on the other manus, there is more than one campaigner, the Returning Officer will recess the election to a day of the month where a canvass will be taken. The Returning Officer shall besides publish and besides denote the notice of contested election with the information of the approaching election and the campaigners ‘ names and symbols through publication in the Government Gazette. After the notice of contested election has been issued, run period will so get down up to the twenty-four hours before the election twenty-four hours which has been referred to as the cooling-off twenty-four hours. A campaigner, in order non to be disqualified, shall detect and non to perpetrate any of the forbidden discourtesies and corrupt and illegal patterns as mentioned and enumerated in Articles 37 to 70 of the Presidential Elections Act of Singapore.
Polling twenty-four hours in Singapore is considered as a public vacation and so doing voting to them as a compulsory activity. If on the twenty-four hours of election, a elector finds out that another individual has dramatis personaes ballot in his name, he is non deprived of his right to vote. This individual is permitted to vote for the campaigner of his pick utilizing a ballot paper of different colour. He can merely be permitted to project his ballot merely after he took his curse to corroborate his individuality. The imitator who casts the ballot non in his ain name can be held apt for an discourtesy of personation. Impersonation is a term used in political relations for the specific sort of elector fraud where an single ballots in an election, while feigning to be a different voter.[ 5 ]On this polling twenty-four hours, the qualified electors listed in the Register of Voters are allowed to project their ballot. As to the abroad vote, it may go on even before Singapore stated voting but it has to shut before canvassing terminals in Singapore. After abroad election is closed, the ballots shall be delivered back to Singapore and must be received by the Returning Officer non subsequently than 10 yearss after its polling twenty-four hours. As to the local election, after the stopping point of the canvass, the ballot boxes shall be sealed and to be transported to the numeration centres. After the count in these centres, the Returning Officer shall roll up the consequences of all numeration centres in Singapore. If the abroad ballots had non yet arrived, the Returning Officer can declare the campaigner who garnered the highest figure of ballots if he see that the abroad ballots has no impact on the consequence of the election. If he make see that the abroad ballot has an impact, so he will postpone the declaration of the winning campaigner until the abroad ballots have been counted. It is merely after the numeration of the abroad ballots that the concluding consequences will be published in the Government Gazette.
For parliamentary elections, the Parliament of Singapore has 99 Members of Parliament ( MP ) which are three sorts: Elected MPs, Non-Constituency MPs and the Nominated MPs. The elective MPs are chosen by the right to vote. The parliamentary election starts with a writ of election. The President of the Republic of Singapore has to first fade out the Parliament and so publish a writ of election to the Returning Officer. The content of this writ of election is the same with that issued by the Prime Minister in a Presidential election. After the issue of the writ of election, the Returning Officer will so publish the Notice of Election which would province the topographic point, clip and day of the month of the nomination twenty-four hours, the nomination paper which is to be signed by non less than 6 voters and the payment of sedimentation. During the nomination twenty-four hours, the campaigners are required to go through in individual to the Returning Officer the needed paperss that include the nomination documents and certifications. During the terminal of this period, if there on merely one campaigner for Single Member Constituencies or one group for Group Representation Constituencies that has been nominated, the Returning Officer will declare that the exclusive campaigner have been returned as Member of the Parliament. If on the other manus, there are more than one that has been nominated, the election will be adjourned to a polling day of the month. A notice of contested election will so be issued informing the electorate the polling day of the month, the locations of the polling Stationss, and the campaigners and the symbols that would stand for them. After the notice of contested elections has been issued, the run period now will get down. The campaigners can get down runing get downing from the twenty-four hours when the notice of contested election has been issued up to the start of the twenty-four hours of the cooling-off twenty-four hours. The cooling-off twenty-four hours would mention here as the twenty-four hours before the polling twenty-four hours. In candidacy, a campaigner has guidelines on how to carry on their run. One of the guidelines is as to how much can they pass for their run. For a Group Representation Constituency, it shall restrict its outgo to an sum equal to $ 3.00 per elector divided by the figure of campaigners in the group. For a Single Member Constituency, it will be an sum equal to $ 3.00 per elector. Any campaigner shall detect Articles 57 to 61 of the Parliamentary Elections Act for the corrupt patterns that should be avoided and besides Article 62 to 85 for election agent, election disbursals and illegal patterns. At the polling twenty-four hours, it will hold the same procedure as what took topographic point during their Presidential Election. A qualified elector will have a canvass card that will advise him of the polling day of the month and the location where he can vote. At the terminal of the twenty-four hours, the ballot boxes are sealed and delivered to the numeration centres. After the count, it will be the duty of the Assistant Returning Officer to collate the consequences before conveying it to the Returning Officer who has the duty of denoting the consequence to circulate the consequence to the populace. Such consequence would non merely be announced but besides it would be published in the authorities gazette.
II. PHILIPPINE ‘S ELECTION SYSTEM
Automated Election System Experience of Voters
Filipino elections system is merely a measure in front compared to Singapore with respect to the election system that we are able to implement in our state and it has been already 20 four old ages that Philippines were able to recover its democracy after the Marcos ‘ government. Filipinos should hold been more mature and should be able to find the job and the lacks in our election system. The machine-controlled election system was purportedly be the reply of our jobs in the manual election that involves excessively much human intercession that made our system expose to fraud. It was purportedly designed to unburden the people from the manual election because of its velocity and accurateness. Some say that the automated election system was a success but others says make non. Philippines had spent one million millions of pesos for the execution of this automated election system. In understanding between COMELEC and the Smartmatic supplier, it was provided that the COMELEC shall pay the sum contract sum of Php7,191,484,739.48, sole of value added revenue enhancement, if any, for the rental of Goods and purchase of Services under this contract.[ 6 ]It is good if we see the money ‘s worth but there are a batch of issues and inquiries trouble oneselfing in the heads of the citizens with respect to this automated election system that was merely implemented and tested last 2010 elections. It was purportedly be doing the life of the electorate easier but as to the world and what has been experienced by the electorate during that election twenty-four hours is the exact antonym. There is a large spread with respect to what the jurisprudence is stating and wanted to implement and how the jurisprudence was really implemented. It needs be reviewed before it will be implemented in the future elections. The Provider warrants that all the goods comply with COMELEC ‘s specifications as contained in the Bidding Documents and every bit required in the Functional System and Software Agreement.[ 7 ]In a rigorous sense, there was a breach of guarantees because there were a batch of lacks that were reported after the election which includes the incorrect clip and day of the month casts on the election returns, the deficiency of digital signatures, and the uncomplete stock list of the vote machines and the compact flash cards. Namfrel said that PCOS print out show more ballots than what was really inside the ballot box.[ 8 ]These truly showed that the systems programmed in the machines used were non working good as specified. Election jobs had been enumerated in The Center for People Empowerment in Governance ( CenPEG ) Report on the May 10, 2010 Automated Elections. Among these jobs includes PCOS misfunctioning dislocations, faulty compact flash cards, the usage of unofficial thermic paper, abnormalities in vote processs and elector disenfranchisement.
Opinions and Recommendations
Election has ever been looked with hope for a better and stronger state but these hopes are overlapped with fright and unfairness in our election system. There had been experiences of unresolved fraud electoral instances that left the citizens with traumatic experiences particularly during the Marcos government. The electoral governments of the Republic of the Philippines should seek to go on to develop the procedure of pass oning with the citizens, political parties and other organisations in order to increase the degree of trust and assurance in the future election procedures.
It is provided in our Fundamental law that there shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments. With this machine-controlled election on manus, I propose that at least one of the six Commissioners is an information engineering expert. Automated election system is more than jurisprudence. With this engineering that we are utilizing, there are information that these public officers need to cognize that can non be seen in the election jurisprudence itself. Automated election system needs experts who understand the system and non merely attorneies who understand the jurisprudence. If an IT expert has been appointed as one of the six Commissioners so I think COMELEC would be able to construct the needful information engineering substructure in the organisation.
The function of monitoring and observation of the citizen is besides of import for the credibleness of elections and late the Filipino citizens had been more active in their function compared to the old elections. The “ Bayan Mo Ipatrol Mo ” has been effectual on this wherein the concerned citizen can describe what anomalousnesss had been go oning within his locality. The electoral governments should go on this and possibly should implement more ways on how the citizens could describe deceitful strategies that has been go oning.
COMELEC should besides happen ways to see to it that those who are qualified electors and was able to register themselves during the period allotted for enrollment would be able to happen their names in the lists because we can non truly call Philippines as democratic and a republican state until all those who are qualified are first registered decently. This is one of the jobs largely encountered by the electorate. They were non able to vote because they were non able to happen their names despite the fact that they were able to register themselves. This job should be given much importance because this is the first measure of exerting the right of right to vote. The high terminal machines used in the election will be useless if the first measure of enrollment of electors is non decently implemented.
The period of the public testing of the machines that will be used in the elections twenty-four hours must besides be extended until a few yearss before the election. Extension of the period would assist the electorate be familiar with the engineering and have a better cognition with this automated election system. These field trials would besides imitate the existent conditions of the topographic point. If a field trial or mock election had been decently done in the old election, so the long waiting lines of elector could hold been anticipated and a solution for that job could hold been made. This is one of the of import things that had been overlooked which should besides be given high respect in the approaching elections. Adequate clip should besides be allotted for the preparation of those assigned in the precincts, machine operators and support technicians. They should be good informed of the processs to be performed to assist minimise or even avoid uncertainnesss or contradictions in their undertakings. If there is more clip for developing so the incident with UV scanners, which is of import in verifying the genuineness of ballots, can be avoided wherein members of the precinct left the scanners untouched or widely misidentify them for exigency torchs. Proper preparation would besides in a manner cut down the reaction clip in instance of eventualities. The members in the precinct would besides be able to cognize what to make if certain jobs will go on.
Harmonizing to The CenPEG study, the Smartmatic-TIM PCOS engineering is the lowest terminal in the international market with restriction and handicapped characteristics ( such as elector verifiability ) that put undue load to the elector with his/her rights violated ; the fact that the machine is prone to fiddling was hidden from the populace. Our state has been passing more than 100 % compared to that of what has been spent in the manual election. COMELEC should re-examine and do a cost-benefit analysis with respect to this automated election system. It should see whether or non this automated election system utilizing these PCOS machines are worth the disbursal that our state has expended. COMELEC should take into consideration of utilizing less expensive automated election system that would still guarantee more truth and velocity. But if the electoral governments still decided to utilize the same machines in the future elections, it must see to it that the quality of the machines is non undermined. It must see to that there must be adequate clip for these machines to be programmed or prepared and must see to it that what we needed in our automated election system has been decently and efficaciously programmed in the system. The COMELEC should hold a undertaking clip tabular array that has a room for uncertainnesss or more trials and non to hold its calendar of activities excessively tight particularly that we are still new on this sort of system.
Automated election system has been experienced by the populace but what has been really referred here is mechanization in the tabular matter of ballots and non the casting of ballots. If budget is non a restraint, I would urge that mechanization would besides include the casting of ballots and that fingerprint readers must besides be incorporated in the automated election system. I think this would decrease our jobs like ballots can non be fed on the machines or forge ballots being reproduced because the elector will merely hold to come in his ballot straight in the machine. There is no demand for shadowing the circle matching to the campaigner of his pick. The fingerprint readers besides can be considered as a replacement of the difficult transcript electors ‘ list. In this manner, electors would non hold to scan through legion pages to happen his name and merely to happen out subsequently that his name was omitted in the list. The fingerprint reader would besides function as confirmation of one ‘s right to vote. Together with the usage of an unerasable ink, this fingerprint reader could besides be used to avoid perpetrating the discourtesy of caricature or multiple vote because every individual has his ain fingerprint that is alone from others. It can besides avoid ballot purchasing, ballot pre-shading and winging electors.
Problems do be, may it be automated election system like what has been late implemented in the Philippines or may it be a manual election system like Singapore. For so many old ages up to the present, electoral governments has been still in hunt in happening solutions to decrease or extinguish election jobs. Finding solutions should non merely be the duty of the governments. It should besides be shouldered chiefly with the electors. What every state needs is honesty in every citizen. It would non count on how high terminal is the engineering that has been used if the electorate itself is non honorable and is ever happening agencies on how to pervert the electoral system. To hold a successful election is the duty of the authorities and of the people as good.
Peoples v. San Juan, G.R. No. L-22944, February 10, 1968
Fundamental law, Legislative acts
Fundamental law of the Republic of Singapore
Presidential Elections Act ( Chapter 240A )
Parliamentary Elections Act ( Chapter 218 )
Register of voters, Law-Glossary at hypertext transfer protocol: //www.law-glossary.com/definition/register-of-electors.html ( last accessed 14 March 2011 )
Impersonation, WIKIPEDIA The Free Encyclopedia at hypertext transfer protocol: //en.wikipedia.or/wiki/Personation
Contract For the Provision of an Automated Election System for the May 10, 2010 Synchronized National and Local Elections at www.cenpeg.org/The % 20CenPEG % 20Report/26 % 20- % 202013 % 2020Appendiz % 20smartmatic-comelec.pdf ( last accessed 14 March 2011 )
Kristine Alave, COMELEC Urged to Fix Problems in Automated Election System, 03 July 2010 at newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20100703-279002/Comelec-urged-to-fix-problems-in-automated-election-system ( last accessed 11 March 2010 )