Inquirer.net – Comelec OKs test run of mobile voting app

By Tina G. Santos | Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has identified the countries where the test run of the overseas mobile voting application will be conducted.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said the Comelec en banc had already approved the test run of the mobile voting app for possible use in the May 2022 polls.

Guanzon, the commissioner in charge for the Office for Overseas Voting, said that apart from the Philippines, the test run will also be conducted in San Francisco in the United States, Singapore and somewhere in Middle East in June.

Improve election system

The mobile voting app testing will be done as part of the poll body’s mandate to further improve the country’s election system, Guanzon said in an earlier interview.

She added that the poll body was thinking of new ways to ensure access to Filipinos who are voting overseas.

Likewise, Guanzon said she intended to propose to the commission en banc to consider the use of mobile app voting for domestic voters.

“We have persons with disabilities, pregnant women, senior citizens … they also have a hard time going to the polls,” she said during the recent signing of the memorandum of agreement for local field registration centers for overseas voting in Manila.

Earlier, the poll official disclosed that four suppliers have offered to test run a mobile voting app for the commission, namely Indra Sistemas, Voatz, Smartmatic International, and Scytl.

1.8M overseas voters

Meanwhile, the poll body is also looking for ways to increase the number of registered voters, particularly overseas.

During the May 2019 elections, there were a total of 1,822,173 registered overseas voters.

Since then, the Comelec has deactivated 578,185 overseas voters, who failed to vote in the 2016 and 2019 polls.

“Right now, we have about 1.3 million voters,” noted Guanzon, adding that they would help address the perennial problem of mobility among Filipinos abroad.

Many OFWs are located far from the Philippine posts, where voter registration activities are being conducted.

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