The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday conducted an internet voting demonstration for overseas voting ahead of the 2025 national and local elections.
Eight multinational internet voting solutions providers were invited by the poll body to do a public demonstration of their internet voting technology and systems.
From this technology demonstration, Comelec said it expects to craft a terms of reference (TOR) for the internet voting for overseas Filipino voters “suited to Philippine situational requirements, with emphasis on cybersecurity, accuracy, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, convenience, sustainability, transparency, integrity, inclusivity, and most especially, auditability.”
The TOR will then be the subject and basis of a public bidding for the 2025 elections.
Comelec chairperson George Garcia noted that the poll body spent P417 million to ensure that 600,000 Filipinos abroad were able to vote in the 2022 elections.
However, there was only a 39% voter turnout out of the 1.697 million registered overseas voters last year.
This is why, he said, the Comelec has decided to venture in other modes of voting, particularly internet voting, to achieve higher overseas voter turnout.
“The Filipinos are number one when it comes to internet use. We are also number one when it comes to texting. So we will have to prove to the entire world that because we are number one in such area, then we can avail of this new technology and be allowed to vote,” Garcia added.
In May 2023, Comelec announced it approved internet voting for overseas voters in the 2025 polls.
Based on Republic Act 9189, or the Overseas Voting Act, Comelec is authorized to explore internet-based technologies for overseas voting. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News