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Comelec awaits 20 poll machines

Posted on: October 6, 2009

Comelec awaits 20 poll machines
October 05, 2009 17:25:00
Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it will receive within the month 20 poll machines that will be used as demo units to educate voters nationwide in preparation for next year’s automated elections.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the 20 precinct count optical scan (PCOS) units from Smartmatic and Total Information Management, will serve as “development sets” for the customization of the automated poll system and will be deployed in key regional locations to help educate voters.

“The 20 development set units have arrived on September 28 and we expect it to be cleared with the Bureau of Customs and delivered to us by second week of October,” Jimenez said.

Of the 20 machines, 16 units will be given to each Comelec regional election director, who will take charge of demonstrations in their respective areas. The four other units will be deployed in permanent PCOS demonstration sites and in Comelec road shows.

As development sets, the 20 units will only contain the basic functions of the source code such as reading, scanning and counting of votes in paper ballots.

Presently, Comelec is identifying an international certification agency that will attest that the software provided by Smartmatic-TIM conforms to the basic operational requirements stated in the P7.2 billion contract, after which a source code review will be conducted by local IT firms.

Under the contract, Comelec will pay five percent of the total contract amount for the delivery of 20 PCOS development units. Software licenses were transferred to Comelec last July, according to Jimenez.

The Comelec said it will deploy 82,200 PCOS machines in the 2010 elections. Automation covers counting, consolidation and canvassing of votes, including electronic transmission of election results from polling precincts to Comelec servers.

Jimenez said Comelec is recruiting volunteers who will act as key speakers who will head the public demonstration of the machines, teaching voters and teachers how the new election system operates.

Interested parties can coordinate with the Comelec Education and Information Department via e-mail bagongbotante@gmail.com or call (+632) 525-9294.

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