A total of 757 clustered precincts were selected for the conduct of random manual audit (RMA) for this year’s general elections.
The RMA is being conducted to examine the ballots in order to validate whether or not the automated count of the vote counting machines (VCMs) is accurate.
“Manual audit refers to the visual reading and counting of votes on a paper ballot or its equivalent, without the use of a machine, and a comparison of said results to results generated by the machine count,” the Comelec stated in its resolution no. 10738.
“At least one clustered precinct in every legislative district shall be randomly selected for the RMA,” it added.
The RMA team “shall proceed with the counting of votes for the following positions— for Presidential elections: president, vice-president, member house of representatives, governor and mayor,” it furthered.
The Comelec’s partners for the RMA include election watchdogs Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) and National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) as well as the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
“The random manual audit will determine and bolster our faith in the electoral system that the machine count is accurate and that the machine count is what is reflected on the ballots,” said Comelec Commissioner Aimee Ferolino, the commissioner-in-charge of the RMA Committee, on Tuesday, May 10.
“So, after the conduct of the RMA, I’m sure and I’m confident that we can prove once again the accuracy of our machines and that our electoral system is reliable,” she added.
Ferolino described the RMA as “a long, difficult, and tedious job because it is manual.”
“But it will be worth the sacrifice because we will look at the records and we will find out kung ano talaga yung totoong count (what the real count is) because there are still doubts,” she said.
“We know that there are still doubts and we are here to prove and erase those doubts. Wala tayong papanigan (We will not take sides), we will just look at the records and we will let the records speak for itself,” she added.
The Comelec is set to conduct the RMA at the Diamond Hotel in Manila on Wednesday, May 11.