Comelec Spokesman confident with more secure ballots and vote-counting machines

Published March 12, 2019, 4:15 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Minka Klaudia Tiangco 

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) reiterated that it beefed up its security measures to ensure a clean and honest election this May.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said this amid growing concerns that the agency’s move to release online the images of the official ballot’s faces will aid others in copying and distributing fake ballots.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez

“Bakit daw namin nilabas ang itsura ng balota. Baka magka-dayaan, magagaya. Ang sinasabi naman namin, itong balota natin, may mga security features po ito (They ask us why we released images of the official ballot faces and say that this could lead to cheating, or others may make fake ballots. What we tell them is that the ballots themselves have security features),” he said in an interview with Unang Hirit on Sunday.

Jimenez said the Comelec used a unique kind of paper to print the official ballots. Each ballot also contains invisible ultraviolet markings which would be difficult to copy.

The Comelec Spokesman added that the vote-counting machines (VCM) that will be used this year are more secure than the Precinct Count Optical Scanner (PCOS) machines.

Jimenez said one of the biggest differences between the two machines is that the VCM has two security SD cards that save data simultaneously.

“Simultaneous saving means there are lesser chances of having errors in saving memory,” he said in a mix of Filipino and English.

The VCM also has a larger screen compared to the PCOS machine, making it easier for voters to determine if their votes were read correctly.