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Comelec to buy 80,000 UV readers to check ballots’ security

Posted on: April 3, 2010

Comelec to buy 80,000 UV readers to check ballots’ security

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 12:51:00 04/02/2010

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010, Politics

MANILA, Philippines—Officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Thursday that there will be UV ink scanners to be deployed in all 76,000 precincts nationwide by May to check that the ballots to be used in polling precincts contain the UV security markings.

The poll body allocated at least P1 billion for the procurement of the handheld UV lamps.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the Comelec bids and awards committee has started the bidding for the acquisition of 80,000 UV lamps to detect and scan the invisible security markings that will prove the authenticity of the ballots before they are handed to voters.

This came after Comelec chairman Jose Melo admitted that some of the ballots printed at the National Printing Office have misaligned UV markings that might not be read by the poll machines.

“The UV marks are misaligned on some of the ballots. At the speed that the ballots are printed, some of the marks are sort of moving. The PCOS machine may not be able to read the UV marks with a number of ballots but a UV scanner can still do this function. Even the voter can do that so they can see for themselves the UV security marks on the ballots,” said Melo.

Smartmatic-TIM spokesman Gene Gregorio told INQUIRER.net in another interview that they are “finalizing talks” with Comelec on the acquisition of the UV lamps or scanner, after Melo announced that the automation technology provider is accountable for the UV lamps.

Comelec said earlier that the UV markings is one of the five security measures to be detected by the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines once the filled-up ballots are fed into the scanner by the voter. Other security markings include the 160 GSM custom-made paper imported from Canada, the 2D barcode, Comelec security markings and precinct specific numbers.

As of March 31, the NPO has printed 27 million of the total 50 million ballots for use in the May poll

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