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TIME-CONSUMING, TOOL FOR VOTE BUYING

Bautista: Comelec won't print vote receipts


The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will not print vote receipts during the May 9 local and national elections because it is time-consuming and may be used in vote buying.

"I can tell you now - we will not activate the tape receipts. As I've said before, there are more disadvantages than advantages if we will print the receipts," Bautista told reporters during the mock elections held on Saturday.

One advantage of the voters verification paper audit trail (VVPAT) is that voters can see if the vote-counting machines accurately read their votes on the ballot.

Bautista, however, said "it can be used in vote buying."

He said that the tape receipts can be used as the voter's proof in vote selling.

The VVPAT is a new feature of the VCMs. Tape receipts that contain votes cast by the voters can be printed by the VCMs.

Groups are urging the Comelec to enable the feature to make sure that the VCMs read the ballots correctly.

Delay in polls

Aside from vote-buying, Bautista said that the printing of the tape receipts can cause a major delay in the elections.

The Comelec said it takes the VCMs 13 second to print the tape receipts or 2.1 hours if there are 600 voters in a polling precinct.

Another five hours will have to be consumed to review the tape receipts.

Bautista said that "time and motion" during the elections will be affected if they enable the feature.

Meanwhile, the poll chief said they are also studying if they should show the votes cast on the VVPAT screen as it may also consume time during election day.

"The problem on VVPAT screen, is the time and privacy. Voters will take some time to read the VVPAT screen while their privacy can be comprised because other people may be able to see the screen," he added.

He said a voter may take 30 seconds to review his votes on the VVPAT screen, an equivalent of five hours for 600 voters. —ALG, GMA News

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