Despite calls to blacklist it from election deals, Venezuelan firm Smartmatic moved closer to bagging all major election contracts for the Philippines’ presidential elections in 2016. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday, July 30, said it decided to award to Smartmatic a major contract for the lease of 23,000 vote-counting machines. The contract for these precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines is pegged at P1.7 billion ($37.18 million). Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body will soon issue the notice of award to Smartmatic. The lease of 23,000 vote-counting machines is part of the Comelec’s last-ditch effort to ensure automated elections in 2016.
The Comelec said it will choose between two options by the middle of August:
– repair and supplement its existing vote-counting machines
– buy 100,000 new ones for the presidential elections in 2016
The lease of 23,000 machines will play a role in both options – either in supplementing the 80,000 existing machines or the 70,000 new ones that the Comelec could also lease. Smartmatic seems poised, as well, to win another major deal – for the lease of 70,000 new machines.
Full Article: Smartmatic closer to bagging all key election deals.