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Re: Petition for Extension filed by Yu et al.

Upon review of the petition for extension filed by Yu et. al., the COMELEC Board of Commissioners have decided that the reasons that Yu et. al. proposed are not sufficient bases for the extension of elections for at least two days. Insufficient time To address the argument posed on insufficient time, the Commissioners have also conducted a time and motion study to determine whether or not there was really not enough time given to voters to cast their vote. The computations are described below. No. of students 8000 1200 6800 Total number of students Number of students affected by the system error* Students not affected by system error

*the number of students affected by the system error should be computed for separately because: (1) These students were given an extension of 2 days to recast their votes (2) The extension of two days did not only affect those who have casted their votes but also those who did not cast their votes but belong in the said courses. This would also make up for the possible disenfranchisement that Yu et. al. has explained.

Time needed for students Number of Students to vote 3 minutes* 6800 students

Total Time

20400 minutes

*the Commissioners argue that the time specified in the complaint was not accurate as they measured it by getting the time that it takes for a group of people to come in and out of the Ops room. This was not a sufficient measure as these people may have waited for their friends, etc., while at the Ops room and does not really only account for the time it took them to vote. Day No. of Minutes No. of Laptops Total computer

time per day 1 (Wednesday) 2,3 (Thurs and Fri) 4 (Monday) 3x60 = 180 8x2x60 = 960 8x60 = 480 15 15 10 Total time 2700 14400 4800 computer 21900

From the total computer time and the total time it takes for the unaffected students to vote, we can see that there are 1500 minutes left (on Monday, the last day of regular elections) which we can allocate to the affected students. Time needed for students Number of Students to vote 3 minutes* 1200 students 3600 minutes Total Time

Day

No. of Minutes

No. of Laptops

Total

computer

time per day 4 (Monday) Extended Day 1 and 8x2x60 = 960 3 1500 2880

2 Total time computer 4380

From the two tables above, we can see that there are 780 minutes surplus and there was also more than enough time given to the affected students. The above computation also does not take into account the option of voting using hard ballots that was given to the students. Also, it does not consider that the Commission accepts votes even past 5:00 pm on every election day as long as these students were in line to vote by 5:00 pm. From the tables above, we can see that there are more than enough time given to the students to cast their votes. The Commissioners, therefore, see the computations presented in the petition as inaccurate and oversimplified. Undue Voter Fatigue due to Technical Errors and Inconsistent Announcements Yu et. al. argues that technical errors contributed to undue voter fatigue. The Commission also does not see this as a sufficient basis for the following reasons. First, the original election dates (February 12-14, 2014) was not affected by this fatigue because the system error was not yet known to the students by this time. Hence, the idea of a system failure during this time should not have affected the students decisions of voting or not voting. Although the votes of those under the 19 courses were not counted at said time, the argument that even students from other courses were disenfranchised could not stand during this period. Second, all the voters were presented with the option to vote using hard ballots if they felt disenfranchised and did not trust the system. Poll officers were instructed to let students vote using hard ballots if it made them feel safer. Based on observation,

students have opted to vote using the hard ballot for the said reason. Hence, the reason that students may not want to vote because of a distrust of the system was accounted for by letting these students use the hard ballots. Lastly, the Commissioners would like to argue that this assumption is not grounded by actual research and are unquantifiable. There is not enough evidence that most people really did feel disenfranchised because of the technical errors. The Commission has made efforts in coping up with the said system failure. First, the Commission has informed the student body that other courses were unaffected. Second, the Commission gave everyone, including those from other courses, the option to vote using hard ballots just in case they do not trust the system. Lastly, the Commission has extended the voting period for 2 days for the 19 courses. This does not only give the students whose votes were lost enough time for them to recast their votes but also gives time to the students from the following courses to cast their votes for the first time if they were previously disenfranchised by the possibility of not getting their votes counted.

Based on the reasons above, the Commission does not see the reasons proposed by Yu et. al. as enough bases for the extension for elections. The Commission stands by its decision that there was enough time given both for affected and unaffected students given the different circumstances (i.e. the technical errors and the bomb threat) that arose during the elections period. Lastly, an extension would not solve the fact that people were disenfranchised, if they really were given that the Commission has already made measures to solve this.

Signed by,

(Sgd) Denise Olondriz COMELEC Chief Commissioner

(Sgd.) Joyce Donaire COMELEC Human Resources Commissioner

(Sgd.) Mikee Razon COMELEC Finance Commissioner

(Sgd.) Justine Guino COMELEC Secretariat Commissioner

(Sgd.) James Ong COMELEC Logistics Commissioner