Comelec may not activate paper printout of votes cast
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is not inclined to activate the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) feature of the vote counting machines, but gave assurance that three other controversial features would be enabled. 

The three features are the digital signatures or the security key passwords of members of the board of election inspectors, the ultraviolet lamp and the source code.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said they are still deliberating whether or not to activate the VVPAT tape receipt, as this has advantages and disadvantages.

The VVPAT pertains to the paper printout containing the votes cast.

“The advantage is you can see the accuracy of the votes cast. But it can be used in vote buying and will delay the process,” Bautista said during a roadshow at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila where the Comelec showcased the VCMs for the first time.

The Comelec chief said it is possible that the votes cast would not coincide with the votes counted because of the level of shading the ovals. 

He said losing candidates might also question the credibility of elections by complaining about less than accurate data, thus potentially disrupting the electoral process.

Bautista said the Comelec would consult with various groups and stakeholders about their position on VVPAT.

He gave assurance that the VCMs have screens where voters could review their votes before these are counted.  

The voters cannot change or erase their votes, but they can shade more ovals. 

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said enabling the VVPAT screen entails an additional five hours for 600 voters per polling precinct, assuming that each voter will spend 30 seconds inspecting their ballot receipts on screen.

“But a voter will require more time to read through the tape. Those who are used to reviewing their grocery tape receipts may do it faster but not for others,” Jimenez said.

Aside from this, it takes approximately 13 seconds to print a tape receipt or equivalent to 2.1 hours if there are 600 voters.  

ACIRC BAUTISTA CATHOLIC CENTER COMELEC COMELEC CHAIRMAN ANDRES BAUTISTA JAMES JIMENEZ JIMENEZ NBSP POPE PIUS VOTES VVPAT
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