By Leslie Ann Aquino
Instead of December 15, the release of the list of candidates for the May 2019 midterm polls has been moved next week.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) pushed back the release of the list to allow the En Banc to completely resolve pending disqualification cases involving those that filed Certificates of Candidacy (COCs).
“The Comelec has announced that the release date for the final list of candidates for the national and local elections has been moved to the latter half of next week,” Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said in a statement.
“This will allow pending issues related to several candidacies to be settled, without negatively impacting the final contents of the 2019 ballot,” he added.
Jimenez assured that the changes will not have any negative effect on the calendar of activities leading to the May 2019 polls.
“This move is not expected to adversely affect the Commission’s schedule of activities,” he said.
The announcement was made Friday, or on the same day that the poll body started the process of “trusted build” for the automated election system (AES) to be used in the 2019 polls particulary the trusted build for the Election Management System (EMS).
“One of the outputs of the EMS is the ballot. The EMS is being used in designing the ballots,” said Jimenez.
He explained that the EMS was the one that compiles the number and profile of registered voters, their geographic locations, polling precinct information, among others, all of which are necessary in designing the official ballots.
Set to undergo the “trusted build” process are the vote counting machines (VCM), and counting and canvassing system (CCS).
“Trusted build” is the process of assembling the overall program that will govern the entire AES using the reviewed components.