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PIA Press Release

Poll automation group to meet on pilot-testing odds

Quezon City (16 October) -- THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has called the technical working group on poll automation to a meeting Friday to discuss the possibility of proceeding with the pilot-testing during next year’s elections of an automatic voting system as specified in an amended bill passed by the Senate last week.

Comelec chairman Benjamin Abalos said he has asked representatives of the Department of Science and Technology, particularly Secretary Estrella Alabastro, the Commission on Information Technology and Communication, the University of the Philippines, private organizations, and even Congress to the meeting at the Comelec office. “On Friday we will see if it’s still possible to have a pilot-test in poll automation, and what kind, if we do automate. There are technical implications that would affect all our preparations,” he said.

Abalos explained that if the technology using a poll pad were chosen, then, like in a jukebox, the Comelec would need to have the names of all candidates, from senator down to councilors, listed on the pad.

In these areas, he said, the deadline for filing certificates of candidacy would have to be earlier.

Earlier, Abalos said a pilot-test was unlikely because a head start of at least a year would be needed.

But before the Senate went on a three-week break last week, it passed the amendment to the poll automation law, allowing for the pilot-testing of a technology-neutral system in two cities and two provinces each for Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. (PIA) [top]

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