SC orders Comelec to issue vote receipts
The Supreme Court has ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to activate the vote verification feature of the vote counting machines to issue receipts to voters after casting their votes in the May 9, 2016 elections.
“The Comelec is ordered to enable the vote verification feature of the vote counting machines, which prints the voter’s choices without prejudice to the issuance of guidelines to regulate the release and disposal of the issued receipts to ensure a clean, honest and orderly elections such as, but not limited to ensuring that after voter verification, receipts should be deposited in a separate ballot box and not taken out of the precinct,” the high court said in its ruling.
The high court’s ruling granted former senator Richard Gordon’s petition.
Gordon in his petition said the poll body should enforce Section 7 (e) of Republic Act No. 9369 or the Automated Election Law, which states that the Voter Verification Paper Audit Trail or VVPAT is one of the minimum system capabilities of the automated election system and a major security feature of the vote-counting machines.
Gordon explained that the VVPAT allowed voters to confirm whether or not the machine cast the vote correctly based on their choice, thereby ensuring the integrity of the elections.
He added that that VVPAT was a “critical and indispensable” security feature of the automated voting machine.
Gordon said the Comelec must not be allowed to violate the law as it did in the 2010 and 2013 elections, adding this was why some questioned the credibility of the automated election system and citing the failure of the poll body to implement safeguards such as presenting the source code for review and disabling the use of digital signatures.
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