The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is the body of the Philippine government tasked to regulate and manage everything that’s happening during the elections. As we all know, the registration for voting ends and that the COMELEC announces when the COMELEC voter registration procedures will resume.
This year, however, the COMELEC announced that the voter registration will continue in August for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) for the May 2020 polls.
James Jimenez, COMELEC spokesman, said that the COMELEC voter registration that will be resuming in August will only be for two (2) months—from August 1st, 2019 until September 30th, 2019—inclusive, of course, of holidays and weekends.
He also said that there would be in estimation a total of two (2) million new voters to register in this period.
Approximately two million new voters are expected to register during this period.”
A lot of people had their complaints and reactions to the COMELEC voter registration because of its slow and inaccurate. This is why the COMELEC tried to remedy the situation by trying different things to improve and further enhance the vote counting system.
During the recent national elections, the COMELC experienced negative feedback in terms of how the vote counting went and the results it bore.
Now, the DICT, together with the COMELEC, is trying to find different ways on how to improve and make the vote counting system better.
Do SK voters need to register as a new barangay voter?
As per the regulation, current SK voters do not need to register as a new barangay voter anymore because when they turn 18, their names will automatically be transferred from the SK List of Voters to the list of regular voters.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) suggested an alternative to the automated election system—an alternative that will inculcate the ballot confirmation process to be able to resolve transparency issues in the machines that count votes.
Eliseo Rio Jr., the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) acting Secretary took the lead in demonstrating the alternative system when he made the proposal of returning to the pre-automated elections setup where the voting count happens.
How would the alternative be?
Since the COMELEC voter registration is going to continue in August, Rio said that the ones who would feed the ballots to the tallying or vote counting machines would be the election officers.
When it’s counting time, the actual ballots’ images would be projected together with the data on how the vote counting machine was able to read it.
This will not only be better and more efficient, it will also allow the tasked poll watchers to successfully verify and authenticate the votes to see if it was counted properly.
What would the advantage of this alternative be?
According to Rio, by this process, the hours of counting the polls will be shortened because machine-related issues would be lessened and at best, they would be non-existent during the actual time of voting.
In addition to that, precincts might also be divided to further shorten the lines in places of voting. Then, the ballots will be collected and brought to the designated vote tallying machines—where they’re programmed and destined to be at the end of the poll hours.
The goal, as per Rio, is to provide transparent and credible voting for the elections; no proposal to change the transmission and canvassing of votes were reported to have been submitted, as per Rio.
Our proposal is anchored on making the elections more credible and transparent.”
Hopefully, the COMELEC voter registration resumption would spark the end to all discrepancies in terms of election votes. A lot of people, especially officials believe that a change in this would provide better and a more reliable way of counting the polls.
What do you think of the alternative that Rio and the DICT is proposing? Would this draw attention and further enhance the election system that our country currently knows? Or would this have little-to-no effect to the current dilemma we are experiencing now during the elections?