Comelec: No reason to fear new voting machines

MANILA. Comelec Chairman George Garcia.
MANILA. Comelec Chairman George Garcia.PNP photo

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday, July 5, 2024, sought to allay apprehensions from voters with the impending introduction of new voting machines come the May 2025 national and local polls.

In an interview, Comelec Chairman George Garcia said voters should not be intimated or fearful about using automated counting machines (ACMs) provided by the commission's service provider, Miru Systems joint venture.

"Others may be afraid because it is a new system, a new voting machine, say they don't know how to use it, or say that they could have a hard time using it," said Garcia.

"We just want to say that for these new machines, there is no reason to be fearful," he added.

The joint venture, led by Miru Systems, won the Full Automation System with Transparency Audit and Count (FASTrAC) project of the Comelec.

The project includes the provision of 110,000 ACM units along with peripherals, consumables, and technical support for the May 2025 elections.

In a bid to reduce the public's apprehensions, the poll body said it will be undertaking a massive voter education drive nationwide.

"We want to show everybody that they shouldn't be afraid so we will be demonstrating how it is used," said Garcia.

Since the 2010 polls, the Comelec has used an automated election system (AES) in conducting the national and local polls.

However, the 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 2022 polls all used the AES provided by Smartmatic International. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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