Comelec to demo vote counting machine features Monday

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) will demonstrate the features of the vote counting machine (VCM) for the first time in tomorrow’s roadshow in Manila.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the roadshow that will be held at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila would be attended by several election watchdogs including the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, National Citizen’s Movement for Free Elections and Democracy Watch and Legal Network for Truthful Elections.

Jimenez said that during the show, they would showcase the new features of the Vote Counting Machine VCM, including the voter-verified paper audit trail VVPAT-a slip of paper that comes out of the VCM to allow voters to verify if their votes are cast correctly.

Some sectors have been asking the Comelec to activate the VVPAT in the interest of transparency, but Jimenez said that the poll body is hesitant to activate the VVPAT noting it can be used as a proof for vote buying.

The poll body said that the voters can already verify if their votes were cast our correctly in the screen of the VCM.

The Comelec is leasing more than 97,000 units of VCM, also known as optical mark reader machines from Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corporation for the May 9 elections. It expects Smartmatic to deliver all the units by the end of January.

After the roadshow, the machines will be brought to a warehouse in Laguna where they will undergo testing, configuration and other procedures.

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