An official of the Commission on Elections on Thursday called on the House and Senate to convene the joint congressional oversight committee (JCOC) on poll automation to help the Comelec find the best voting technology for the 2013 midterm polls. Commissioner Augusto Lagman said the committee’s input was needed by the Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) which is mandated by law to evaluate and recommend the appropriate election automation technology to the poll agency.
“I think the committee should convene. It has not met since the 2010 elections. There should have been an assessment of those elections. This is important because we want to learn what lessons we can from the 2010 elections,” Lagman told reporters.
Under Republic Act No. 9369 or the Amended Automated Elections System Act of 2007, the CAC should have submitted a report on the 2010 election technology to the JCOC within six months of the polls. The committee should then have evaluated the voting technology and studied whether to adopt it for subsequent elections.
For the 2010 national and local polls, the Comelec adopted the precinct count optical scan electronic voting technology. A P7.2-billion contract was awarded to a consortium led by Smartmatic Corp. Lagman said an assessment of the 2010 polls would be timely since new CAC members had been appointed.