THE poll body does not see the need to accredit poll watchdog National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) because of the new automated system.

Namfrel earlier asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for accreditation in the coming elections to be designated as the citizen's arm to conduct the random manual audit.

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In previous elections, Namfrel was responsible of conducting unofficial quick counts of election results.

But Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said that since the 2010 polls will be automated, the poll body thinks an unofficial quick count is unnecessary.

“As soon as the data is sent to the server of Comelec, we will upload this to a secure website so people can already see the results of the elections right there and then so there might be no need for an unofficial quick count," he said.

The poll body has only accredited one citizens' arm so far, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV). PPCRV was accredited to participate in the voters' education of Comelec.

The church-based PPCRV and election lawyer Sixto Brillantes has filed an opposition before the Comelec to deny the petition of Namfrel.

Namfrel has been safeguarding the polls since the 1986 presidential snap elections.

Manual audit

For the manual audit, Larrazabal said the board of election inspectors (BEIs) are the ones assigned to conduct it. BEIs are tasked to audit in another precinct where he or she did not serve.

Political parties are also invited to observe the manual audit.

“Right then and there, they can do the audit. Representatives of political parties and civic organizations can watch and observe the proceedings,” said Larrazabal. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)