The most important step in modernizing election tallies: double-entry accounting

The most important step in modernizing election tallies might not be automation, but the use of double-entry accounting methods to make it easier to detect and locate errors and other anomalies. This is my conclusion after doing two election audits: the 2004 presidential election audit, which I did in my personal capacity, and the 2007 mid-term elections, which Halalang Marangal, where I serve as secretary-general, conducted.

The use of single-entry accounting is a fundamental weakness in current election tabulation systems. If we automate the election tabulation at this point, we will be automating a system that is basically flawed, and therefore wasting precious resources on a project that would eventually have to be redone.

Our proposal to modernize our election tabulation through the use of double-entry accounting is contained in a paper (“Modernizing election tabulations through double-entry accounting“) we are submitting at the 2007 Summit on the 2007 Elections, which the Comelec will convene on Sep. 10-12, 2007.

Roberto Verzola, Secretary-general, Halalang Marangal

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