By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc has approved the test run of the mobile voting application overseas for possible use in the May, 2022 polls.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, the Commissioner-in-charge for the Office for Overseas Voting, said the test run will be conducted in San Francisco, USA; Singapore and somewhere in the Middle East in June.
“The test voters that will participate in San Francisco will be our Philippine Embassy personnel staff all over the US including Hawaii,” she said during the signing of the memorandum of agreement for local field registration centers for overseas voting in Manila, Wednesday.
According to the poll official, the mobile voting app testing will be done as part of their mandate to further improve the country’s election system.
“The OFOV of Comelec is now thinking of new ways to ensure access to Filipinos who are voting overseas,” said Guanzon.
She said they will also test the mobile voting app here in the country.
“There will be a test run here and the voters will be Comelec personnel,” Guanzon said.
“We will be transparent. We will invite groups and experts during the test run,” she added.
The poll official said she will also propose to the en banc that aside from the early voting proposal that they will submit to Senator Imee Marcos, that they consider also mobile app voting for domestic voters.
“Why don’t we try other things because we have PWDs, pregnant women, senior citizens…they have a hard time going to the polls,” Guanzon said.
Earlier, the poll official bared that four suppliers have offered to test run a mobile voting app for the Commission namely; Indra Sistemas, Voatz, Smartmatic International, and Scytl.
The Comelec is looking to submit their recommendation on the use of the mobile voting app to Congress by August.
Based on Section 28 of Republic Act No. 10590 “the Commission may explore other more efficient, reliable, and secure modes or systems, ensuring the secrecy and sanctity of the entire process, whether paper-based, electronic-based, or internet-based technology or such other latest technology available, for onsite and remote registration and elections and submit reports and/or recommendations to the JCOC”.