Comelec makes an early assessment of the source code of poll machines

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) plans to start the local source code assessment for the voting machines (VCMs) next month in connection with the midterm polls of May 2019.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez noted that she would hold the review by September for a thorough review.

"The local source code review, we hope, can start in September, which gives us enough time to conduct a thorough local source code assessment," Jimenez said in an interview.

The local source code assessment will be held a month earlier, compared to that in the 2016 polls, which took place in October 2015.

Jimenez hopes to start the international source code review after they have completed the required public bidding process for the service provider.

"This will still undergo international code evaluation, and hopefully we can send it close to the beginning of the local source code review," he said.

According to Republic Act 9369, the Committee "immediately makes the source code available and open to any interested party or group that can carry out its own assessment".

A separate source code assessment will also be carried out by an international certification entity chosen by Comelec.

The source code is the human-readable instruction that dictates what the automated election system will do.

Previously, the Comelec acquired the 97,517 VCM units for P2.1 billion that were used in the national and local surveys of 2016. They will also be used in next year's elections.

The machines were acquired after exercising the option to purchase (OTP) in the lease contract 2016 with Smartmatic International. (PNA)

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