The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is prepared to resolve technical problems that may arise during the May 9 elections, an official said on Tuesday.
“We have passed our contingency resolution as early as January. So, we already included that in the training for our electoral boards in the event this happens, we have this Comelec Election Monitoring Action Center, we have our National Technical Support. So in the event there are technical issues we also have our technical support staff, they are trained to troubleshoot the system, our VCM (vote counting machines),” said Commissioner Marlon Casquejo in a press briefing on the sidelines of the end-to-end demonstration of the Election Day Automated Election System (AES) at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.
Casquejo said these measures include the deployment of contingency VCMs in case problems in the AES “cannot be resolved”.
He added that the end-to-end Election Day AES demonstration is important in promoting transparency of the election process — from the polling precincts to the national board of canvassers.
“If you notice, if we relate this to the hacking incident, our VCM is a stand-alone at the time of voting. So there is no way that anyone using any device or hacking knowledge to insert any results in the VCM,” he said when asked how the end-to-end demonstration will erase the fear of hacking or security breach.
The demonstration was witnessed by stakeholders such as representatives of political parties, election watchdog groups, and members of the media, among others.
“The VCM transmit results in a split of seconds, or let us say 10 to 20 seconds, it will transmit results to the transparency server, data server, and backup. So, there’s no way a hacker can manipulate the results during that period of seconds,” he added.