Computation mistake is a serious thing in a 7 billion worth counting project

May 17, 2010 at 5:05 am Leave a comment

Smartmatic attributes it to “computation mistake”, thus:

“An official of Smartmatic, one-half of the consortium that automated this year’s elections, on Thursday said computation mistake was the reason why the number of registered voters in the canvassing of votes was excessively higher than in the official Commission on Elections (Comelec) record… In a chance interview with reporters, Smartmatic-Asia president Cesar Flores said the computer added the number of registered voters coming from three servers, in the process also multiplying the number of voters by three.” (from GMANews.tv)

Now, let us do the simple arithmetic ourselves based on the above explanation and data found in Comelec website and in the news item itself:

Server
Registered voters: 50,723,734
Overseas voters: 589,830
Total 51,313,564

Multiplying by 3:

Grand total: 153,940,692
Smarmatec Total: 153,902,003
Difference: 38,689

Our total does not equal the total of Smartmatic and this could be because the exact figures for the a) total local registered voters and b) the total overseas voters used may be different.

Nevertheless, note that if the explanation of the Smartmatic official for the computation mistake is correct, then the Smartmatic magic number of 153,902,003 should be multiples of 3 or exactly divisible by 3, which it is not.

When one admits of “computation mistake” in a 7+ billion-peso high-tech project that is supposed to count each vote correctly and do additions correctly in several levels, computation mistake is a serious thing to worry about.

Let us remember that the AES that made this “computation mistake” was designed to do the following computations with a very high level of reliability:

1. adding the total votes of candidates in 14 positions in each clustered precinct to get the total votes in a municipality
2. then adding the total votes from the municipalities and cities to get the total votes of each province
3. then adding the total votes from the provinces to get the total votes for the country

Remember that there are:

76,340 clustered precincts
14 positions in
4 levels (national, provincial, municipal, city) with
about 48,000 candidates

If a programming error can result in computation mistake in the simple task of displaying the total registered voters, is it not also possible that some programming errors with resulting computation mistakes did occur in the other computational routines?

This issue has to be addressed to clear all doubts and because we have another elections coming in 3 years.

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