Comelec to hold local source code review ahead of 2022 polls


Posted at Aug 27 2021 09:56 AM

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MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is now accepting applications for local source code reviewers in preparation for the 2022 national and local elections.

“The reviewer must have knowledge about the software and the language being used in the source code,” Commissioner Marlon Cosquejo told ANC’s “Rundown.”

“Second, it must be designated by the political party or any parties concerned…it is very important also that the local source code reviewer must be, let us say, be appointed by a certain group for IT interested parties, kailangan also recommendation coming from the Comelec advisory council and also the DICT,” he added.

The Comelec is expecting about 20-30 groups to participate in the local source code review, Cosquejo said.

The commissioner said the source code review is needed because enhancements were made to the poll software. 

“There are so many enhancements. For example, we have these digital signatures that will be used by our electoral board, which were not used in the previous elections. Second is the input of the names of the electoral board before opening of the polls,” he explained.

“Most of the enhancement is on the EMS software in the configuration, but in the VCM there are less enhancements. But it is more of something like a user-friendly software that the EB can easily operate the vote-counting software.”

Cosquejo said the local source code review is important so the public is assured of the integrity of the upcoming polls.

“That is very important to show to the public that the source code that we are going to use for the elections does not contain any malicious lines or any invalid or whatsoever codes in there,” he said.

The local source code review will run for six months and will be divided into the guided and unguided phases.

In the guided phase, engineers from the software provider will explain the different functions of the software. In the unguided phase, reviewers will be free to look into any lines of code they want to study, said Cosquejo.

--ANC, 27 August 2021