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Comelec introduces 82 improvements for 2019 polls

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 9/14/2018 Marchadesch, Barbara
Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Comelec © Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Comelec

At least 82 improvements have been introduced by the Commission on Elections in the automated elections system to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the 2019 midterm polls.

The list was presented at the Senate during the hearing of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System conducted by Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and CIBAC party-list Representative Sherwin Tugna.

It proposed enhancements in the election management system, the vote counting machines (VCMs), the canvassing/consolidating system, the local source code review, and the public website.

Among the requirements mentioned were making the ballot ovals thicker; VCMs' automatically printing the statistics report after the closing of the voting hours; generating raw data from the precinct results as part of the transparency CCS server; and the public website show only the needed information.

It also states that if the VCM discovers a dirty vertical line on the clean region or ballot image, the VCM will reject the ballot to allow the board of election inspector to clean the scanner with a felt cleaner paper.

But if the dirty line is too far away from any of the four columns of ovals, the VCM will not reject it since there would be no chance of it affecting the vote. 

Poll commissioner Marlon Casquejo and Executive Director Jose Tolentino said the improvements were based on independent and internal audits and review by private information technology experts.

Pimentel welcomed the enhancements but he also expressed hope that “the Comelec would continue making improvements and learn its lessons from the previous elections.”

The review of the source code of the software that will be used by Smartmatic Philippines will start in a few days and will continue December this year.

A panel of independent IT experts and an international certification entity, along with Comelec representatives, will conduct the review. — BM, GMA News

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