Manila Bulletin : Comelec to introduce new automated features for 2022 elections

News & Interviews
16 May 2021

By Analou de Vera | Manila Bulletin

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will be introducing additional automated features to ensure transparency during the 2022 national elections.

“Some other features not used in 2019 elections will be introduced in 2022,” said Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo in a press briefing Friday, May 14.

Casquejo said that they will use the digital signatures of the electoral boards “in the transmission of (vote) results.”

“This is to make sure that what are being transmitted from the vote counting machines in the voting center, ito ang election returns na itatransmit (these are election returns that will be transmitted) also to the canvassing center. So our electoral boards will have their own digital signatures,” he said.

Casquejo said that they planned to implement this measure in the 2016 and 2019 elections but it was not done due to lack of resources.

“The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) was not yet capable of doing digital signatures. If we hire a third party to do that, we will spend more than half billion for that,” he said.

Casquejo said that the DICT now has the capacity to do it. “We implemented this now because we already have the resources,” he said.

Moreover, the digital image of the voter receipt will also be transmitted to the transparency server. A voter receipt is a mechanism, wherein the voter’s chosen candidates are printed and dispensed by the vote counting machines.

“The media entities or any poll watchdogs can do their own quick count or audit using the voter receipts. That is to be more transparent in the results of the elections—the Comelec decided to include that in the transmission of the results, aside from the election returns,” he said.