Philippines to test biometric remote voting solutions, urged to acquire more scanners

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The Philippine Elections Commission (Comelec) plans to conduct a biometric online trial voting exercise to choose a digital voting solutions provider from among four companies vying for the contract.

To this end, Comelec called on citizens abroad to start registering for Internet voting, according to Inquirer.net. They have until 8:00 a.m. local time on February 12 to do so, and only those with active voter status are eligible to participate, Comelec said.

This is all part of the preparation for elections in the country next year.

According to the Inquirer, potential voters online should have registered the required biometric information, including a photograph of the individual’s face, fingerprints and signature. Voters can vote online if they have a mobile phone that supports Android or iOS apps or a laptop or PC with an internet connection, the election commission said.

Sonia Bea Wee-Lozada, director of Comelec in charge of overseas voting, is cited in the report as instructing those intending to participate in online voting to send a signed consent form accompanied by a copy of their passport or seafarer’s document, in accordance with the existing data privacy policy guiding the exercise. She said the document should be sent to Comelec’s official email address and that other useful information regarding the test vote will be posted on the organization’s Facebook page.

The move comes after biometric voting solution providers Voatz and Smartmatic showcased their remote online voting systems among the four companies Comelec is considering for the deal.

More biometric scanners to increase voter registration

Also in the context of preparations for the upcoming elections in the Philippines, Comelec was asked to procure more biometric scanners and open new and larger registration spaces in order to speed up the voter registration process underway in the country.

UNTVweb quoted the nation’s Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon as suggesting that biometric satellite voter registration points be set up to help cope with the large numbers of people showing up in small offices across the country. Comelec.

The call for more space is also motivated by the fact that the number of people showing up for registration must be limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lawmaker said.

Senator Drilon, UNTVweb notes, called on the electoral body to take action immediately because sufficient funds were allocated to it in the national budgets 2020 and 2021.

“There is no way for Comelec to reach its target number of voters for next year’s elections at this rate of 50 to 70 registered per day. We’re running out of time. COMELEC should intensify its efforts to install more registration sites, ”said the senator. He also said that the country’s workforce includes many IT professionals who have lost their jobs and are able to use biometric registration devices.

Drilon added that as of today, three million people have yet to be registered and another seven million have to update their status because they were deregistered for not voting in the last two elections in the country.

Articles topics

biometric identification | biometrics | elections | fingerprint scanners | identity verification | mobile application | Philippines | voting record


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