The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will reactivate three of the four security features of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) voting machines that were deactivated during the 2010 and 2013 elections. “All those features are there but as to whether we will enable the features, chances are [we will reactivate] at least three out of four,” Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said on Tuesday. The four security features are the ballot verification or ultra violet detectors, the source code review, the digital signature and the voter verified paper audit trail.
They are mandated by Republic Act (RA) 939 or the Automated Elections Law and were part and parcel of a contract that Comelec awarded to controversial technology provider Smartmatic Corp. for the supply of 82,000 PCOS machines that were used during the 2010 and 2013 polls.
Bautista said the Comelec was at fault for the much criticized source code review in 2013, which happened a week before the polls, but noted that under the commission at present, the basic source code review was opened seven months before the 2016 polls.
The source code is basically an independent auditor to ensure that the system is running free from possible malicious lines or malware designed to manipulate the results of elections.