Election Universe

The Philippines: gearing up for the 2016 general elections

The Philippines: gearing up for the 2016 general elections
June 30 2015, 11:45

With a little over ten months to go before the Philippines goes to the polls to select the next president, the country’s poll body is itself deep in the process to select a technology provider to automate the electoral process.

The  Commission on Elections (Comelec), which is riding on an all-time approval rating high  after the successful implementation of the county’s first automated elections in 2010 and the equally well-received midterm polls in 2013, now seeks to perfect its automated platform and perhaps placate the Filipinos’escalating demand for more and more transparent elections.

The challenges that the Comelec is facing is myriad, chief of which is the lengthy bidding process that is cutting short the preparations for the project. Owing to some legal issues, the Comelec has had to conduct a second round of bidding for additional vote processing equipment and refurbishment of old ones.

The Philippines currently uses Optical Mark Recorder (OMR), a technology that has perfectly suited the temperament of Filipino voters. The system offers all the reassurance of a paper ballot that serves as a verifiable paper trail plus all the speed and accuracy of an automated count and canvassing.

An estimated 18,000 national and local positions, including the President, Vice President, Senators, Congress Representatives, Governors are being contested in the May 2016 elections.

Photo courtesy of Philstar