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Comelec calls on overseas voters to join voting test runs next month

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday said it would conduct next month live test runs of their Internet overseas voting systems for the 2022 elections.

This, after the Comelec signed last Monday the memoranda of agreement (MOA) with two Internet voting solutions providers.

“The Internet voting test runs form part of the commission’s exploratory study of Internet-based technologies for possible use in Internet voting. The test run is the third phase of the implementation plan, which will involve the actual test voting activity,” Comelec said in a news statement issued on Wednesday.

The poll body also invited registered overseas voters to be part of the test run. The final call for participants in the test runs ends on June 25, 2021.

“Test voters who have previously signified interest and [have] given [their] consent will participate in a mock election using the solutions providers’ apps or platforms,” it said.

For her part, Commissioner Ma. Rowena Amelia V. Guanzon, commissioner-in-charge (CIC) for Overseas Voting, said the test runs, which will be conducted at no cost to the commission, will begin in July.

“This exploratory test use of a mobile app for overseas voters is groundbreaking, and the results will have a significant and valuable impact on how elections may be conducted in the future,” she said.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Antonio T. Kho Jr., vice CIC for Overseas Voting, signed the MOA on behalf of the Comelec, while Ryan Earl So of Indra Sistemas and Henry Tan Sim of Voatz signed as representatives of the solutions providers.

Due to conflict of schedule, the Comelec said Smartmatic would sign the MOA on a later date.

The Comelec also said the signing of non-disclosure agreements will be conducted prior to the actual test run.

Republic Act 9189 or the Overseas Voting Act authorizes the Comelec to explore Internet-based technologies for overseas voting.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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