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Election ballots to carry security features

Posted on: December 9, 2009

Election ballots to carry security features
December 09, 2009 19:53:00
Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines – Special paper ballots to be used for the 2010 elections will carry tracking and security features to prevent fraud, according to the Commission on Elections.

The ballots, which will carry the names of candidates, will include serial numbers, unique bar codes and ultra-violet (UV) marks to prevent electoral fraud, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Jimenez said tracking devices, similar to those attached to packages by delivery service providers, will be shipped to polling precincts.

“A tracking system would be in place to ensure delivery to designated municipalities and precinct,” he said.

He noted: “This is important because the ballots would be specific per precinct, meaning the ballots assigned to precinct A will not be used in precinct B because only the poll machines in precinct A will be configured to scan and read the votes on those ballots.”

Comelec believes such measure would help prevent cheating through “dagdag-bawas” or ballot padding, usually done using pre-filled fake ballots inserted in ballot boxes.

In addition to serial numbers that, the special ballots will have bar codes and invisible UV ink that act as a redundant measure for preventing electoral fraud.

“The bar codes and the invisible UV inks cannot be replicated,” said Jimenez.

Ballots will be printed between January and February next year by the National Printing Office, with the special papers to be provided by Smartmatic-TIM, according to Comelec.

The Comelec is also expecting a delivery of some 100 poll machines this month for use in training both election personnel and voters on poll automation.

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