Comelec to test run internet voting abroad on Sept. 11

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 8, 2021   •   185

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will begin to test run internet voting abroad from September 11 to 13.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, commissioner-in-charge for overseas voting, believes that the online voting can be used as a new platform for Filipinos abroad.

She said the system would be more convenient for overseas voters particularly seafarers and those who cannot take time off work in order to vote.

If the dry run is successful, the Comelec official said she would ask Congress to pass a law that allows the use of a mobile app for voting.

“If these test runs efficient, effective and cost-efficient, I will recommend to the commission en banc that we request Congress—of course the House and the Senate—to consider passing a law to use mobile app voting in the future. Well, if we’re looking at 2025 that’s quite possible ‘cause that’s another three years from now,” she said.

However, she said there are still things to consider with regards to the use of internet voting.

“There are three things that are major considerations for me as a decision maker: one is security; two is access of voters; three is the cost.  If we are satisfied, we can recommend to the Comelec en banc and of course Congress,” Guanzon said.  AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Comelec to conduct voting simulation on October 23

Maris Federez   •   October 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will conduct a voting simulation on Saturday (October 23) in preparation for the May 2022 national and local elections.

In a statement, the commission announced that the simulation of voting protocols will take place at San Juan Elementary School in San Juan City.

Comelec said the simulation will determine the average time frame in the verification of voters in the Election Day Computerized Voting List (EDCVL), in order to come up with proposals aimed to streamline the process of verification.

It also aims to identify other areas of concern or issues in the verification process, taking into consideration the minimum health and safety protocols.

It will also serve as a guide for the poll body to “devise measures that will decongest polling places and implement procedures that will ensure completion of the voting process in the shortest possible time.”

All participants will be required to wear face masks and face shields while inside the voting center and observe physical distancing and proper cough and sneezing etiquette at all times.

“While we definitely expect these health and safety protocols to impact voting hours and the number of voters that may be allowed to vote at a given time, we are confident that the activity will help up to streamline the overall voting experience,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said.

Four classrooms will be used in the simulation that will run from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.—/mbmf

 

Comelec en banc to tackle calls to extend overseas voter registration

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc is set to discuss on Wednesday the recommendation to extend the overseas voter registration that ended on October 14.

Some overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) said they still have not registered due to the limited days that they are free from work.

Senator Imee Marcos said many OFWs, particularly in Hong Kong and Macau who confused the deadline set for overseas voter registration with the deadline set for the voter registration in the Philippines which is October 30.

“Given the confusion brought about by COVID, the numerous extensions and difficulties in travel of our OFWs, I was urging the Comelec, and I reiterate this plea, that we extend at least two weekends in the most populous or the consulates with the most Filipinos.”

Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas, meanwhile, said they will have to discuss the matter in the next en banc session.

“Pag-uusapan namin kung kaya pa namin ii-stretch yung sa OFOV (Office for Overseas Voting). Stretched na stretched na po siya pero i-try pa rin namin, magandang idea ‘yun your honors na we will cater dun lang sa parang pinaka NCR nila, yung pinakamaraming na hindi pa nakapagrehistro,” Abas said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Comelec targets at least 350K additional new voters from extended deadline of registration

Maris Federez   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) expects to hit the target of additional 350,000 to 500,000 new voters with the extension of the deadline for voter registration to October 30.

To date, the country has registered 63.6 million Filipinos to qualify to vote in the coming elections. Around 6.1 million of whom are newly registered voters and 700,000 are reactivated voters, based on Comelec data from August 2019 to September 2021.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon hopes to have more registration areas activated to reduce long lines in existing Comelec sites.

He also urged those who have yet to register not to wait for the last minute to do so.

Meanwhile, several senators support Comelec’s request to have the amount that was removed from their proposed budget be reverted.

Comelec said this will give more leeway for them to ensure safe elections in 2022 amid the continuing threats of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The budget recommended by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the commission to use in 2022 is only Php26.7-billion from their original request of Php42-billion, which senators find too small.

“The Comelec budget is simply too small to COVID-proof the election. And if we say it is a high cost to bear, the price of a failed presidential election in these difficult times will be even more costly to the nation,” said Senator Imee Marcos.

Comelec said that reverting the fund to their original request will also ensure that teachers will be able to receive higher honoraria in rendering services during the elections.

Meanwhile, Comelec is set to conduct simulation activities for the 2022 elections on October 23. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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