Comelec to hold poll tech fair Wednesday

MANILA-- Different voting technologies are set to be showcased at the Automated Election System (AES) Technology Fair by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Advisory Council on Wednesday.

The one-day event will be held at the Novotel Manila Hotel in Quezon City starting 8:30 a.m.

According to the CAC, the AES Technology Fair will allow all system providers the chance to present their respective technologies.

"The CAC will conduct the one-day AES Technology Fair to gather various technology providers to present and demonstrate the available local and international AES technologies," it said.

The panel noted that holding of such will give them a chance to know about possible technologies that may recommend to the poll body that may be used in the May 2019 elections.

"These AES systems will be for consideration by the CAC as we will be recommending what type of technology / system will be used for the 2019 national and local elections," the group added.

Also expected to attend are officials and members of the Comelec's Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), representatives from ICT professional organizations, NGOs, and academe.

The group added that there would be six vendors, who will exhibit their technologies and solutions.

During the fair, the CAC said participating AES providers/developers shall be given time to present, demonstrate, and discuss their respective technologies.

It noted that interested AES providers/developers must present technologies that feature adequate security against unauthorized access; accuracy in recording and reading of votes as well as in the tabulation, consolidation/canvassing, electronic transmission, and storage of results; error recovery in case of non-catastrophic failure of device; and system integrity, which ensures physical stability and functioning of the vote recording and counting process.

They are also looking for other features such as having provision for voter verified paper audit trail; system auditability which provides supporting documentation for verifying the correctness of reported election results; an election management system for preparing ballots and programs for use in the casting and counting of votes and to consolidate, report and display election results in the shortest time possible; and accessibility to illiterates and disabled voters.

Likewise, the CAC would want systems that have vote tabulating program for election, referendum or plebiscite; accurate ballot counters; data retention provision; and provide for the safekeeping, storing and archiving of physical or paper resource used in the election process.

They are also looking for an AES that can utilize or generate official ballots as herein defined; provide the voter a system of verification to find out whether or not the machine has registered his choice; configure access control for sensitive system data and functions; and address any other concerns and issues that were observed during past Automated Elections since 2010.

On the other hand, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez lauded the effort of the CAC in conducting such event, which aims to find the best available technology that could be used in the next elections.

"The Commission believes that this is an important first step towards the CAC's final technology recommendation," he said.

The poll body official added, "The Commission looks forward to seeing solutions that are responsive to the needs of the electorate and the electoral process.

Source: Philippine News Agency