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COMELEC to test mobile apps that may used for voting in Philippine elections

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will soon test a mobile app for use in the next election in an aim to increase voter turnout among overseas voters, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said.

In a statement, Guanzon said four suppliers of a mobile app voting program or system have offered to conduct a test run for Comelec.

“If successful, we will ask Congress to pass a law,” Guanzon said.

“We will test it muna. We will be transparent with mobile app voting testing,” she added.

Guanzon said the poll body would invite seasoned election watchdogs Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, Lente and National Movement for Free Elections to observe and critique the proceedings.

“This will be very useful for seafarers and those who live far from our embassies,” Guanzon told GMA News Online.

“Our target is to have a total of two million overseas voters before May 2022 [Presidential elections],” Guanzon added.

During the 2019 midterm polls, there are at least 334,242 overseas absentee voters who cast their vote.

Under the existing Automated Election law, votes can only be cast by being physically present in voting centers and feeding the ballot to vote counting machines.

During the 2019 midterm polls, at least 961 Vote Counting Machines malfunctioned and 1,665 secure digital cards were corrupted on election day.

Each VCM caters to at least 1,000 registered voters, meaning the defective VCMs could have affected at least one million voters.

The dysfunctional VCMs were replaced, but the replacement took time, resulting in long queues in voting centers under the sweltering heat. —NB, GMA News

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