Comelec Assures Camera Coverage for Automated Counting Machines

TMTFB 1920x1008 4
Spread the love

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has addressed concerns raised by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) regarding the insertion of cameras in the automated counting machines (ACMs) during the voting procedure. In response to the poll watchdog group’s apprehensions about voter privacy, Comelec Chairman George Garcia assured the PPCRV that the cameras will be covered.

In a letter dated February 27, which was made public on March 2, Chairman Garcia acknowledged that the camera placement on the ACMs, provided by the joint venture of Miru Systems Co. Ltd., Integrated Computer Systems, St. Timothy Construction Corp., and Centerpoint Solutions Technologies Inc. (MIRU-ICS-STCC-CPSTI), is “not ideal.” He further stated that the positioning of the camera for scanning QR codes may cause concerns among the voting public regarding their privacy.

To address these concerns, Chairman Garcia emphasized that during the source code review, the camera will only capture images of the QR code and nothing else. Additionally, to ensure voter privacy, the Commission will place a physical cover on top of the camera during the voting process.

The PPCRV had previously suggested covering the camera in a memo to the Comelec on February 22, citing potential intrusiveness and voter apprehension regarding privacy. While acknowledging the camera’s function of scanning the QR code on the election returns to enable the visualization and perusal of each vote in a vote counting machine, the poll watchdog respectfully suggested that the camera be hidden or covered until it is needed after the polls are closed.

The assurance from the Comelec to cover the cameras during the voting procedure is a significant step towards addressing the concerns raised by the PPCRV and ensuring voter privacy. By acknowledging the potential apprehension among the voting public and taking measures to mitigate it, the Comelec demonstrates its commitment to conducting free and fair elections.

Voter privacy is a fundamental aspect of any democratic electoral process. The presence of cameras during voting can raise concerns about the confidentiality of individual votes. In this context, the Comelec’s decision to cover the cameras is a proactive approach to alleviate any potential apprehension and uphold the integrity of the election process.

It is important to note that the use of technology in elections, such as automated counting machines, can enhance efficiency and accuracy. However, it is equally crucial to strike a balance between technological advancements and safeguarding the privacy of voters. The Comelec’s assurance to cover the cameras strikes this balance by ensuring that the cameras only capture the necessary information and do not infringe upon voter privacy.

The commitment to cover the cameras during the voting procedure also highlights the importance of transparency in the electoral process. By physically covering the cameras, the Comelec ensures that the voting public can have confidence in the confidentiality of their votes. This measure helps to build trust among voters and reinforces the legitimacy of the election results.

In conclusion, the assurance from the Comelec to cover the cameras in the automated counting machines during the voting procedure is a positive step towards addressing concerns raised by the PPCRV and protecting voter privacy. By acknowledging the potential apprehension among voters and taking proactive measures, the Comelec demonstrates its commitment to conducting fair and transparent elections. This decision strikes a balance between technological advancements and the fundamental principles of voter confidentiality, ensuring the integrity of the electoral process.

Source: The Manila Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *