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Comelec to test mobile voting app in the Netherlands, Spain

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By Leslie Ann Aquino

Aside from San Francisco in the United States, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will also test the mobile voting application in the Netherlands and Spain for possible use in future polls.

The Comelec was initially planning to conduct the test run in San Francisco, Singapore, and Middle East but decided to drop the last two due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) there.

“We will be testing this mobile voting app in San Francisco (United States), Amsterdam (the Netherlands), and Spain,” Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said in an interview Thursday.

“During the test run we will see how fast it is and also the problems before we make a recommendation to the Senate, House of Representatives and the JCOC (Joint Oversight Congressional Committee),” she added.

Guanzon believes having a mobile voting app system would be very helpful especially in situations where there is a disease outbreak or natural calamity.

“If you have the mobile voting app, our overseas voters can vote anywhere…with the (COVID-19) situation they don’t go out anymore in Korea. Voters won’t go out in such a situation,” she said.

“With more reason that we must overcome all these obstacles to access to elections by having appropriate technology,” added Guanzon.

“We must enable more people to vote so we can see the true will of the people. Mobile app voting is, for me, the way of elections in the future,” she said.

Earlier, the en banc approved the test run of the mobile voting application overseas for possible use in the May, 2022 polls.

The conduct of the test run is being eyed in June or July.

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.”#

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