Comelec to showcase vote counting machine tomorrow
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - For the first time, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will demonstrate the features of the vote counting machine (VCM) in tomorrow’s roadshow at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they would show to a limited audience some of the new features of the VCM, including the voter-verified paper audit trail VVPAT.

“We will have a demonstration and consultation with key stakeholders first before we show it to the public,” Jimenez said.

The poll body is leasing the VCM from Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. for use in the May 9 elections.

The VVPAT is a slip of paper that comes out of the VCM to allow voters to verify if their votes are cast correctly.

Some sectors have been asking the Comelec to activate the VVPAT in the interest of transparency.

But the Comelec is hesitant to do this, noting it can be used as a receipt or proof for vote buying.

The poll body, however, said that the new VCM have screens where the voters can verify if their votes were cast accurately.

The Comelec will consult stakeholders concerning the issues on VVPAT. 

Jimenez said the roadshow would be attended by several election watchdogs including the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, National Citizen’s Movement for Free Elections and Democracy Watch and Legal Network for Truthful Elections.

The Comelec is leasing more than 97,000 units of VCM, also known as optical mark reader machines, for the coming elections.

The poll body expects Smartmatic to deliver all the units by the end of this month.

The machines will be brought to a warehouse in Laguna where they will undergo testing, configuration and other procedures.

BUT THE COMELEC CATHOLIC CENTER COMELEC FREE ELECTIONS AND DEMOCRACY WATCH AND LEGAL NETWORK JAMES JIMENEZ JIMENEZ NATIONAL CITIZEN PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL POPE PIUS RESPONSIBLE VOTING SMARTMATIC-TOTAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT CORP
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