Comelec: Overseas voters must enroll gadgets for online voting

MANILA. Voter registration at the People’s Park – Malcolm Square on February 23, 2024.
MANILA. Voter registration at the People’s Park – Malcolm Square on February 23, 2024.Comelec photo

WITH internet voting set for launch during the 2025 midterm polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Friday, April 5, 2024, that overseas voters who will be using it will be required to register their gadgets as part of its security measures.

In a television interview, Comelec spokesman John Rex Laudiangco said enrollment of the mobile gadgets is one of the would-be requirements for internet voting.

"One main feature of the system is accessibility as mobile gadgets, cellphones, laptops, and computers can be used to vote," said Laudiangco.

"And as part of its security measures, there will be authentication, much like online banking, online financial institution. We must register these gadgets," he added.

In a separate interview, the poll official said the information used in the enrolment of the gadgets will be compared to the owners' voter registration records.

"Whoever is the holder of the gadgets, to whom it is enrolled for, we will match it with the voter registration records before we acknowledge their rights to vote," explained Laudiangco.

Earlier, the Comelec announced that the internet voting system will be the primary mode to be used in overseas voting next year.

Personal and postal voting, on the other hand, will be limited to 17 Philippine posts, where there are existing internet voting restrictions.

Laudiangco said they expect that the introduction of internet voting will lead to a higher voter registrants and voter turnout as compared to previous elections.

"When Filipinos abroad learned of the internet voting, the number of registrants gradually went up. Now, we have some 100,000 new registrants. We expect more to get registered in the coming weeks," said the poll official.

"We really expect online voting to be the key in increasing the voter turnout abroad. This is because with internet voting, wherever they may be, as long as there is internet signal, their gadgets are enrolled, they can cast their votes," added Laudiangco.

On Tuesday, April 2, 2024, the Comelec-Special Bids and Awards Committee declared the Joint Venture of SMS Global Technologies Inc. and Sequent Tech Inc. as having the lowest calculated bid for the Online Voting and Counting System (OVCS) project. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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