Election data transmission prone to signal jamming

Roel Pareño - Philstar.com

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - The Commission on Election (Comelec) here said the mode of data transmission to be used by the vote-counting machines (VMC) is prone to signal jamming.

A local Comelec official revealed this during their demonstration and briefing with members of the Zamboanga Press Club Inc. (ZPCI) on the operation of the VCM machines that will be used in the coming election.

“To transmit the data we use the modem in which we use the SIM (subscriber identify module) cards of Globe, Smart, and Sun Cellular. Now, if those SIMs are subject for jamming then our transmission can be subjected to jamming,” said second district election officer Atty. Lerdo Matildo.

However, the Comelec official said the new counting machines have many advanced and safety features and could even deliver fast casting of votes compared to the previous Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.

Matildo allayed fear of sabotage, citing that they can conduct three data transmission attempts.

“There might just be a little delay but possible jamming cannot sabotage the data result,” he said.

According to Matildo, they have already addressed the problem of paper jamming and advised voters to protect their ballots from dirt and alteration.

He added they will also utilize the broadband global area network (BGAN) wireless device for areas or precincts without cellular site to transmit election results. 

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