By Ali Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will employ fingerprint voter verification system in the May 2019 mid-term elections to combat flying voters, a provincial poll official said.
In his briefing for the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC), Maguindanao Election Supervisor Udtog Tago, said the poll body was set to pilot test machines that would automate voter verification in the next polls.
Tago said the automated system will also be used to validate new registrants who listed up in town-level and special satellite registration centers to participate also in the Jan. 21, 2019 referendum for the ratification of R.A. 11054, known as the Organic Law of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
In Maguindanao and this city, more than 4,000 residents listed up and their voters’ applications will be evaluated via the traditional assessment by a Comelec board and through the automated mechanism.
An earlier Comelec announcement said that on Election Day, voters in selected precincts will have to scan their finger through the Voter Registration Verification System or VRVS machine before getting a ballot. Once the system detects that a fingerprint has been previously scanned, it locks them out, the poll body said.
The Comelec plans to deploy 32,067 voter verification machines in selected precincts in May, 2019. It has approved a budget of P1.16 billion for the project, it was learned.