Comelec to begin 2019 election system review next week

Angel Movido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 13 2018 02:29 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will formally begin its local source code review on Wednesday, Oct. 17 in preparation for the 2019 midterm elections.

Just like in the 2016 elections, the review will be open to representatives of different political parties, Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said Saturday.

The source code is the instruction for what the automated election system will do.

"Binubuksan natin 'yung sistema sa mga di taga Comelec, 'yung mga taong as part of who they are are interested in keeping the elections clean," he said during the local source code kick-off held at the De La Salle University in Manila.

(We are opening the system to people outside Comelec, to those who as part of who they are are interested in keeping the elections clean.)

On Saturday, the technical evaluation committee announced that it had listed more than 80 new requirements in relation to the functions of the election management system (EMS), vote counting machine (VCM), and the canvassing and consolidation system (CCS).

Jimenez said the review is done to further enhance the existing system and address issues on accuracy, security, and transparency.

"This is not to rewrite how the program is written. We're talking about input that aims to improve the system," he said.

Some of the enhancements include having faster ballot generation, paper audit trail, an enhanced security code or QR code, improved log registry, functionality of labeling the SD card through the EMS, inclusion of IP (Internet Protocol) addresses in logs, and having a contingency laptop for canvassing, among others.

Jimenez assured the public that no last-minute alterations can be done with the system once it has been reviewed and approved, and that proper procedure would be strictly implemented.

The poll body said the local source code review is expected to be completed by Dec. 14.