Comelec set to conduct test of internet voting platform

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to conduct the initial
part of its internet voting test run this weekend.

In an advisory on Wednesday, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said
the activity is scheduled to begin on Saturday (Sept. 11) at 8 a.m.
(Manila time) and will run until Monday (Sept. 13) at 8 a.m.

He added that the voting list would be posted on the official Facebook
page of the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) showing the last names,
first names, and middle initial.

For her part, Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, commissioner-in-charge for
overseas voting, said she will ask Congress to pass a law on mobile
app voting for future elections in case the activity is successful.

“If these test runs are efficient, effective, and cost-effective, I
will recommend to the commission en banc that we request Congress, the
House, and the Senate, to consider passing a law to use mobile app
voting in the future. If we are looking at 2025, that is quite
possible because that is another three years from now, but I think the
budget will be the main consideration,” she said in a virtual
briefing.

Guanzon said once the system is used in future elections, it will help
save government funds.

“When we have mobile app voting in the future for overseas voters, the
Comelec and the Philippine government will save a lot of money for
example courier service, transportation. And the most important thing
is that our overseas voters will have easier access to vote especially
seafarers and those who cannot leave work in order to vote,” Guanzon
added.

The scheduled internet voting test run will be headed by Voatz, a
mobile voting solutions provider.

Other service providers Smartmatic and Indra Sistemas will also be
holding test runs within the month.

In June, Comelec signed a memorandum of agreement with the technology
companies for the conduct of live test runs of their internet voting
systems.

The project is part of the poll body’s exploratory study of
internet-based technologies for possible use in internet voting.

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