Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 15) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is eyeing automated vote-counting in elections that will cost billions, Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said on Wednesday.
Casquejo presented to senators a process where machines scan voter’s receipts and immediately project ballot images so the electoral board can verify if the votes are the same on both forms.
Once verified, the results will be transmitted to the board of canvassers, central server and transparency server, the commissioner’s video presentation showed.
Casquejo said the project is initially worth ₱24 billion for the new voting machines, but they may also add another ₱2.5 billion for the needed projectors and barcodes. The staggering amount raised questions among senators.
“Ang problema ko Commissioner is wala tayong pera dahil nauubos na yata sa COVID,” Senator Imee Marcos, chairperson of the Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Participation, told Casquejo.
[Translation: My problem is that we do not have money because we seem to be running out of funds due to COVID-19.]
Casquejo said the initial ₱24-B proposal was already sent to the Department of Budget and Management but the Comelec has not yet received feedback.