8 March 2016, 2:00 PM – THE COMMISION on Elections on Monday assured voters
that the vote counting machines for the May 9 national elections were
“accurate, verifiable and transparent.”

Comelec executive
assistant Kriselle Balmes said the machines have an audit log and can provide on-screen
verification that will allow voters to check their ballot entries.

“Ballots [can be] identified by the machines and are
rejected if fake or invalid, previously scanned, for another precinct, or with
ambiguous marks,” Balmes said in a forum at the Beato Angelico Gallery.

The “voter
verifiable audit trail,” a new feature of the machine, enables the
printing of a receipt containing the list of entries on each ballot. However,
only the on-screen verification feature will be used for the upcoming
elections, Balmes said.

There are 54,363,844
registered voters and 92,509 election-day precincts, according to Comelec. Each
precinct will have a counting machine.

Paolo Domondon,
representative of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV)
that has approximately 17,000 volunteers, discussed his group’s voter-education
efforts. “We try to create a strong link between how your vote affects your own
life,” he said.

Domondon enumerated the three major advocacies of PPCRV namely:
voter education, poll watching and parallel unofficial tallying of votes.

The forum, which had the theme “Make a choice, have a
voice,” was part of the Aktiboto University-wide voter education
initiative, and was held in coordination with Ideas That Matter, an
organization of advertising students from the College of Fine Arts and
Design. John Paul P. Corpuz


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