Comelec: Vote receipts possible in future polls

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Vote receipts may yet be issued in future electoral exercises, according to the Commission on Elections.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista, however, stressed that this will require electoral reforms.

In a press conference on Friday, Bautista said the election system must be changed to allow the printing of receipts.

“I’ve said that publicly. I think we should have receipts, hopefully at some point in the future, but we have to change the current election system,” Bautista said.

“We should change this concept of having a synchronized elections for both national and local. We should rethink as to why we only have elections for one day,” Bautista added.

Longer voting days, Bautista said, would allow the Comelec to use the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) feature of the automated election machines in future polls.

He said Comelec could print out receipts if given sufficient time.

The Comelec earlier announced its final decision against the activation of the vote receipt feature of the vote counting machine (VCM) for the May 2016 elections.

The commission explained that the removal of the vote receipt from the polling place is not punishable since under existing laws, the legal framework needs to be crafted to prevent the use of the receipt from being used as a tool for vote buying.

The use of VVPAT will be disadvantageous since it will require changing the paper rolls of the VCMs during voting hours and it could be used for vote buying.

The Comelec instead opted to enable the onscreen verification feature of the VCM to enable voters to verify the accuracy of the VCMs’ interpretation of the ballot before the latter is dropped into the ballot box.

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