Smartmatic

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Smartmatic
Type Privately held
Industry Technology, Electronic voting
Founded 2000
Headquarters

London, UK (Smartmatic Worldwide Headquarters)[1]

Global contact offices, multinational
Key people Antonio Mugica, CEO
Products Elections Solutions:e-voting technology and SAES voting machines,hardware & software,deployment services, Identity Management Solutions:registry and authentication devices,biometric security,Solutions for Smart Cities: Public Safety,Emergency Systems,Public Transport,Census Platforms.
Website www.smartmatic.com

Smartmatic (also referred as Smartmatic Corp. or Smartmatic International) is a multinational company founded in 2000 that specializes in the design and deployment of complex purpose-specific technology solutions aimed at helping governments to fulfill their commitments toward their citizens.

It is organized around three business units: Electronic voting systems, Smart Cities: including Public Safety and Public Transportation Solutions, and Identity management systems for people registration and authentication for government applications.

Smartmatic has offices in the USA, Brazil, Venezuela, Barbados, Panama, United Kingdom, Amsterdam, Philippines and Taiwan.

Products[edit]

Elections Solutions[edit]

The electoral business unit combines a complex project management methodology with an electronic voting system that includes hardware (SAES voting machines), election management software, and canvassing software for a central location's servers. It includes several security mechanisms, such as encryption using a public key infrastructure (PKI) with 2048-bit digital certificates.

The hardware includes voting machine models with voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT), redundant memory, integrated printer, a touch screen supporting multiple-choice election processes, tactile remote control, earphones and sip and puff devices for disabled voters, and an add-on voting pad device for use in complex elections.

The software consists of an Electoral Management System (EMS), which manages the data on candidates, electoral seats and political parties, etc., that define the configuration of an election. The Election Day Management Platform (EDMP) suite of management tools directs technicians and operators installing and manning the voting centers using voting machines. It monitors, in real time, all aspects of voting machine use: installation, opening, closing and auditing of the polling booths, the transmission of results and the backing up of data during the event.

Solutions for Smart Cities[edit]

This unit comprises security applications for government critical mission projects, such as Public Safety Platforms, Public Transport Systems, Emergency Management solutions and Census Projects. The services portfolio includes concept and design, technology development, technology implementation and operation, as well as maintenance and support. Smartmatic’s Unified Security Platform automates the interaction between network devices, operators, end users, and security-specific applications. It is designed to provide an end-to-end solution for emergency response using technology to support the handling of emergency calls and to provide immediate responses. It includes hardware, software and deployment services for solutions aiming to improve citizen's quality of life.

Identity management[edit]

Smartmatic Identity Management Solutions enables government agencies to manage people's biographic and biometric information securely. Products and services include identity card programs, immigration and border control, welfare and social benefit distribution programs, civil and voter registration. It uses both specialized mobile devices for enrollment of people in field applications and an integrated system for stationary use. It includes ID management software, and a back-office system for data consolidation and safeguard.

Major implementations[edit]

The company was contracted in 2004 for the automation of electoral processes in Venezuela. Since 2004, its election technology has been used in 26 local and national elections: in Venezuela (10), USA (8), Curaçao(3), Belgium (2), Brazil (1) and The Philippines (2). Its mileage includes more than 1.5 billion audited votes, each with a voter-verified printed receipt, cast using some 193,000 voting machines installed in some 330,000 poll centers.[2]

On August 11, 2008, automated regional elections were held in the Philippines' Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). In the Maguindanao province, voters used Smartmatic's electronic voting machines,[3] while voters in the other 5 provinces (Shariff Kabunsuan, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi) used manually marked ballots processed using OMR technology. The overall reaction of both the public and authorities was positive toward the solution.[4][5]

In May 2010, Smartmatic automated the National Elections in the Republic of the Philippines. The process involved 50.7 million voters choosing from more than 85,000 candidates contesting for 17,000 posts.

In October 2012. Smartmatic participated in the elections of 3 countries. In Venezuela, October 7, for the first time in the world, national elections were carried out with biometric voter authentication to activate the voting machines. Out of 18,903,143 citizens registered to vote in the presidential elections, voter turnout was around 81%, both record figures in Venezuelan electoral history. The same day, Smartmatic provided election support for data and voice communications to the 16 most isolated states in Brazil, and also battery power support to voting machines. These services implied hiring and training 14,000 technicians who worked at 480,000 polling stations, servicing over 500,000 pieces of election equipment. On October 14, 2012, Belgium utilized Smartmatic’s technology and managed services to carry out regional elections in 153 communes in the Flanders and Brussels-Capital regions. The solution deployed was developed according to the strict standards and guidelines set forth by Belgian authorities.

USP (from Smartmatic Security Solutions) was installed in more than 500 branches of Santander-Serfin Bank, (Mexico). Since 2006, the Office of the Mayor of Metropolitan Caracas in Venezuela began the installation of the integrated public security system that helps authorities to provide immediate responses to citizens whose safety has been jeopardized. In 2011, The District of Cartagena in Colombia selected Smartmatic as technology provider for the new Financial Administration Service of the Integrated Mass Transit System (Transcaribe) which will operate based on a highly automated Fare collection and fleet control system.[6]

The Smartmatic Identity Management Solution has been deployed in Bolivia (Biometric Voter Registration for the Bolivian National Electoral Court (July 2009 – October 2009) with 5.2 million people registered); Mexico (Provision of enrollment terminals and software for the National ID Program of the Secretariat of Governance (Dec 2009 – Dec 2012) with 100 million people to be registered); and Zambia (Provision of enrollment terminals and software for Digital Mobile Voter Registration contracted by The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) & Electoral Commission of Zambia (February 2010 – October 2010)).

Venezuela 2004 vote[edit]

After the presidential recall referendum of 2004 in Venezuela, some controversy was raised about the use of electronic voting (SAES voting machines) in that country. The legal basis for this process of automation is found in Article 33(42) of the LOPE (2002), and in Article 154 of the LOSPP (1988).[7]

After the referendum, segments of the opposition cried fraud and submitted appeals as well as several technical reports, yet, representatives from internationally election observation agencies attested that elections conducted using SAES were at that time and have been (in the following elections) fair, accurate and complying with accepted timing and reliability criteria. These agencies include the Carter Center,[8] the Organization of American States (OAS),[9] and the European Union (EU)[10][11][12][13][14]

Acquisition and disposal of Sequoia[edit]

In 2005 Smartmatic acquired Sequoia Voting Systems, one of the leading US companies in the field.[15] Following this acquisition, Carolyn B. Maloney requested an investigation to determine whether CFIUS processes had been followed to green-light sale of Sequoia to a company "with possible ties to the Venezuelan government".[16]

The investigation was prompted after a March 2006 electoral fiasco in Chicago and Cook County, where a percentage of the machines involved were manufactured by Sequoia, and Sequoia provided technical assistance, some by a number of Venezuelan nationals flown in for the event.[17] According to Sequoia the tabulation problems were due to human error, as a post-election check identified only 3 mechanical problems in 1000 machines checked.[17] Election officials blamed poor training.[18] Some problems with the election were later blamed on a software component, developed in Venezuela, for transmitting the voting results to a central computer.[19] A local alderman said the troubles could be due to an "international conspiracy".[17]

After initially cooperating with the CFIUS investigation in October 2006 in particular to clarify the company's ownership,[20] Smartmatic withdrew in December 2006 and sold Sequoia.[21]

Among other vendors, in the 2nd quarter of 2009 Smartmatic and Sequoia competed against each other for the contract to provide voting machines and services to the 2010 national elections in the Philippines,[22] one of the largest contracts ever in the voting technology industry. In the bidding process Sequoia was disqualified early,[23] while Smartmatic was declared the winner.[24][25]

2010 Automated elections in the Philippines[edit]

A total of over 76,340 units plus 5,000+ back-up PCOS machines or Precinct-Count Optical Scanners, plus some 1,700 servers were deployed in the country's first nation-wide fully automated elections, from counting of votes to transmission and canvassing of election results. Election Day was Monday, May 10, 2010 with live full coverage from ABS-CBN, ANC and GMA Network . The elected president became the 15th President of the Philippines, succeeding President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was barred from seeking re-election due to term restrictions. The successor of the Vice-President Noli de Castro is the 15th Vice President of the Philippines. Legislators elected in these 2010 elections joined the senators of the 2007 elections and comprise the 15th Congress of the Philippines. The 2010 election was administered by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in compliance with the Republic Act No. 9369, also known as Amended Computerization Act of 2007. Besides logistical problems, during the last few days prior to the election poll machine & services supplier Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corporation (TIM) found cases of PCOS machine failures. Nonetheless it was decided not to postpone elections since the technical issues were resolved quickly and the solution could be deployed by Election Day. Despite the fact that some provinces reported issues in the election process, these did not surpass the 0.50% of the total number of PCOS machines, and most were replaced on time, as planned for. As a result of the delays, the COMELEC extended voting hours from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and continued through the night transmitting the votes from every precinct scattered across the country.

After the elections closed and transmissions from PCOS machines began arriving en masse and the COMELEC was able to publish the first partial results, many former doubts and concerns vanished, to be replaced by astonishment due to the unprecedented speed of the tally[26]

On June 29, 2010 the Philippine Computer Society (PCS) filed a complaint with the country's Ombudsman against 17 officials of the Commission on Elections and the Smartmatic-TIM Corp. for alleged “incompetence,” graft and unethical conduct.[27]

The suit seemingly had had little or no effect on the positive public perception of the May elections. A survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that an overwhelming majority (75%) of Filipinos were very satisfied with the conduct of the automated elections.[28] The survey also found that voters regarded the 2010 elections one of the most-credible and transparent in Philippine history.

The project to automate Philippine elections had been met with vociferous opposition from its beginning. Several groups which were benefiting from the traditionally fraudulent conduct of Philippines polls[29] found themselves facing great political and economic loss with the promised transparency and auditability of the automated elections system.

Just a few days before the elections, Philippine Computer Society (PCS) filed an injunction against the automated elections, citing fears that the project could fail. The Supreme Court had junked the petition.[30] In the decision upholding the automation project, The Supreme Court said that the arguments raised by the petitioners were "speculative" as they were merely raising their fears in connection with poll automation. The high tribunal ruled that the contentions could not be argued on the basis of fears.

Foreign embassies were also of the opinion that the automated polls were successful. Ambassador Alistair MacDonald of the EU said that he was "impressed by the manner in which this first nationwide automated election was conducted."[31] The US embassy, for their part, congratulated the Filipino people for holding its first automated polls citing the exercise as “another milestone in the Philippines’ democratic history.”[32]

In 2011, The Carter Center, a global peace and health organization founded by former US President Jimmy Carter, cited Smartmatic and the Comelec for the “relatively high public confidence and trust on the use of optical mark recognition technology.” In a 46-page report on its mission to observe the 2010 Philippine Automated Elections, the Carter Center said that “such a success is a credit to the hard work of COMELEC and Smartmatic as well as the commitment of the people of the Philippines toward increasingly transparent elections.”[33][34]

2013 Automated elections in the Philippines[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Smartmatic Worldwide Headquarters". 
  2. ^ See Case Studies' Scope for each project
  3. ^ Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao 2008 Philippines
  4. ^ Manila Standard Today: Automated machines delivered — Comelec
  5. ^ Manila Standard Today: E-voting makes a splash
  6. ^ Smartmatic Signs Deal for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Colombia
  7. ^ Final Report EU EOM Venezuela 2006 (p.19)
  8. ^ 41102_Report
  9. ^ http://www.sap.oas.org/MOE/2003/venezuela/inf_08_15_04_spa.pdf
  10. ^ Comentarios generales:
  11. ^ Carter Center Observing the Venezuela Presidential Recall Referendum (2004)
  12. ^ OAS Report Venezuela Presidential Recall Referendum
  13. ^ EU EOM Venezuelan Parliamentary Elections 2005
  14. ^ EU EOM Final Report Venezuela 2006
  15. ^ Business Wire, 9 March 2005, Sequoia Voting Systems and Smartmatic Combine to Form Global Leader in Electronic Voting Solutions
  16. ^ U.S. Voting Machine Company’s Possible Ties to Foreign Government Draws Congressional Inquiry
  17. ^ a b c ABC Local, 7 April 2006, Alderman: Election Day troubles could be part of 'international conspiracy'
  18. ^ Chicago Tribune, 23 March 2006, New machines, poor training slowed count: Precincts uncounted even after Wednesday
  19. ^ New York Times, 29 October 2006, U.S. Investigates Voting Machines’ Venezuela Ties
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ Bob Davis, Wall Street Journal, 22 December 2006, Smartmatic to Shed U.S. Unit, End Probe into Venezuelan Links
  22. ^ Comelec disqualifies 2 more bidders for P11-billion automation contract The Philippine Star (May 06, 2009)
  23. ^ 2010 Elections: Poll Automation Timeline GMA Research (July 3, 2009)
  24. ^ Smartmatic/TIM consortium is virtually the winner of the poll automation contract -- Comelec Positive News Media, Philippines (June 4, 2009)
  25. ^ The 2010 Automated Polls Computerworld Philippines (July 21, 2009)
  26. ^ Inquirer.Net: Fast count stuns nation
  27. ^ Inquirer.Net: Graft raps filed vs Smartmatic, Comelec execs
  28. ^ SWS: 3 out of 4 Pinoys satisfied with May polls
  29. ^ Pimentel says automation will put fraud syndicates out of business
  30. ^ SC junks petitions to postpone May 10 polls
  31. ^ EU Ambassador congratulates the Philippines on a smooth election
  32. ^ US lauds May 10 automated elections
  33. ^ US mission cites Comelec, Smartmatic
  34. ^ Mission lauds Comelec, Smartmatic

External links[edit]