Comelec mulls pilot-test for automated village polls in Metro Manila

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Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes said the poll body has been thinking of pilot-testing in Metro Manila the automation of barangay (village) elections this October.

Brillantes Jr. said that although the possibility has been discussed by all the commissioners, “we are still divided [on the matter].”

He told reporters that they would have to consider so many things within a span of just four months should they push through with the idea, including moving up the deadline for the filing of the certificates of candidacy and the printing of ballots.

“The problem of going automated is that you need a very early [deadline for the] filing of certificates of candidacy, that’s the main problem,” Brillantes said.

“There are so many things to be done. The printing of the ballots [is also a concern] because it’s a differing kind of ballot. There should be a configuration and it’s also a question of whether we can catch up with the timeline of only [four] months,” he added.

He said the Comelec has already created a steering committee composed of Commissioners Robert Christian Lim, Grace Padaca, Al Parreño and Luie de Guia to be on top of all the preparations for the upcoming elections.

“And our agreement is if the steering committee is unanimous, it is as if the en banc [has decided] because there are already four of them on board,” he said.

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