Comelec optimistic of getting source code of poll scanners

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Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) may finally get the source code of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines to be used in the May 13 polls.

In a press briefing on Monday, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. disclosed that automated elections technology supplier Dominion Voting Systems Inc. had “basically agreed” to release the source code of the PCOS machines following negotiations, along with Smartmatic International.

“In my opinion, I think we might be able to get it. (Dominion) has basically agreed already,” said Brillantes. “[The chances now are] 95 percent; it’s no longer a possibility. It is now a probability that we will get it,” he said.

“We can still disagree, the negotiations can still bog down but that will just be a misfortune if it does happen,” Brillantes added.

The source code of the PCOS machines is the computer-programming language that makes the machines run.

Dominion, which owns the technology of the PCOS and had licensed it to Smartmatic, had refused to release the source code because of a pending legal case against Smartmatic.

Dominion canceled its license agreement with Smartmatic in 2012. It has been asking for $10 million from Smartmatic for the use of the source code.

Several interest groups want to review the source code which is supposed to be conducted three months before the elections in accordance with the Automated Election System law.

Brillantes said they had already set April 15 as the deadline on whether the deal over the source code would be made or not.

Meanwhile, Brillantes disclosed that the printing of the official ballots could be finished by Wednesday.

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