By Analou de Vera
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is conducting a mock random manual audit (RMA) of votes in order to validate the results of the mock election that was held last Saturday.
“Sinisimulan natin yung (We’re starting the) Mock RMA in relation to the mock elections that happened last Saturday, and we would also want to test our existing procedure so we would know what to correct and improve on,” said Comelec Commissioner Luie Guia on Monday.
“We want to see na ang conclusion natin ay walang systemic or deliberate cheating na nangyari sa mock. That’s what we want to see. What I’m committing also from the side of the RMA group is we will report what we see,” he added.
Last Saturday, there were 60 polling precincts that figured in the mock elections.
For the actual election on May 13, Guia said that the RMA will involve 715 polling precincts nationwide, which will be randomly selected using automated random selector software that was developed by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
“We would be choosing about 715 precincts nationwide, randomly selected, and we will read the ballots visually and then compare yung resulta ng ballots that were read… with the results that will be generated by the automated election system on the precinct level,” Guia explained.
“What we would do is to announce the choice of the precincts that will be subjected to audit on the day of the election itself or probably on the day or the next day para hindi naman nila sabihan na pre-selected,” he added.
The Comelec official emphasized that the RMA “is an audit of the national election [and] it cannot be an audit of local election.”
“(For 2019) we’re doing senatorial and we will also audit I think members of the House of Representatives and mayors,” said Guia.
During the 2016 elections, the RMA’s accuracy rate was 99.92 percent. “It indicates that there is no systemic failure,” said Guai.