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BEI digital signatures included in transmission of election results
“This is the first time that the Comelec will include the digital signatures of our electoral board in the transmission of results,” Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said in a virtual briefing last Friday.
Edd Gumban, file

BEI digital signatures included in transmission of election results

Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - May 17, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Digital signatures of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) shall accompany the transmission of election returns (ERs) in the May 2022 polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said.

“This is the first time that the Comelec will include the digital signatures of our electoral board in the transmission of results,” Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said in a virtual briefing last Friday.

He said this innovation serves the purpose of “additional transparency for our elections in 2022” and is an improvement from the previous practice of only having the digital signature of the vote counting machines (VCMs).

“Now, we have the required resources; we have the DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) to do that,” Casquejo said.

The Comelec has long been criticized for the absence of digital signatures of BEIs, which has been provided under the Poll Automation Law to authenticate electronically transmitted ERs.

Earlier, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that the digital signature of the VCMs is sufficient in complying with the automation law.

“But we have to be more transparent,” Casquejo said. “That’s why we are implementing the digital signatures now.”

The Comelec had wanted to implement this feature in the 2016 presidential elections or 2019 midterm polls, but the DICT was not yet capable of executing it at that time and hiring a third party to do it would have cost about half a billion pesos, he explained.

In addition, Comelec has approved the automated transmission of the voter receipts. “The voter receipts will now be transmitted to the transparency server and canvassing centers, so the public can do their own tally using the voter receipts from the VCMs,” he said.

On orders of the SC, the Comelec introduced the voter receipt in the May 2016 polls.

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