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Comelec council seeks rigid testing of poll technology for 2013

The Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) has submitted a resolution to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) recommending that an outstanding legal issue of the current consolidation/canvassing system (CCS) be resolved prior to adopting it for use in the upcoming 2013 elections.


RA 9369, the law creating the CAC and its mandate, stipulates particularly that systems used in the automated elections “must have demonstrated capability and been successfully used in a prior electoral exercise here or abroad”.

CAC chairman and ICTO (Information and Communications Technology Office) Executive Director Louis Casambre said that, “The current CCS is a locally developed system, and we respect the Comelec’s initiative in producing it, however, it is now up to the Comelec to ascertain if the CCS meets legal requirements.”

In the same resolution, the CAC also recommended that regardless of who will provide the CCS, the system should be subjected to thorough technical review which includes a full code review by at least two independent authorities, stress testing, a security audit, exception handling as well as the possibility of being subjected to a system breach contest.

In an earlier resolution, the CAC recommended to the Comelec that Optical Mark Reader (OMR) technology be used in the upcoming 2013 elections. OMR is the same technology applied by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines used in the 2010 national elections.

Casambre also wanted to emphasize that “even though we are recommending the same technology, it does not imply that we are also recommending the same hardware provider, as our recommendations are strictly limited to that of the technology.”

The nine-member council composed of members from the academe, government, IT industry, and electoral reform organizations is tasked by RA 9369 to recommend to the Comelec “the most appropriate, secure, applicable and cost-effective technology to be applied in the Automation Election System (AES)” for the 2013 elections.

Tags: comelec, election