The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday (January 26) came up with the trusted build of the software that will be used to run the election management system (EMS) of the May 9 national and local polls. The supplier of the software, Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM), and the international certifier, SLI Global Solutions, put the trusted build together based on the customized source code reviewed by SLI in Denver, Colorado, USA. They were supervised by members of the Comelec and representatives from the Technical Evaluation Committee of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). On its website, the Comelec defines the trusted build as “the process whereby the source code is converted to machine-readable binary instructions (executable code) for the computer. It is performed with adequate security measures implemented to give confidence that the executable code is a verifiable and faithful representation of the source code.”
Comelec Senior Commissioner Christian Robert Lim said the trusted build is what will be loaded onto the main server of the EMS and determines essential elements of the polls, like ballot faces and voter distribution among precincts.
The source code, on the other hand, is the human-readable version of the software. It underwent parallel review processes, one by SLI and the other, by local political parties and advocacy groups.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez described the process of constructing the trusted build as “putting back together the elements of the source code, which the reviewers took apart for scrutiny.”
The trusted build also contains improvements and customizations to the source code as a result of the review process.