Starting with the 2019 mid-term elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will use an automated system of verifying the identity of voters. The Comelec on Tuesday started the bidding process for the P1.1-billion Voter Registration Verification Project, which will do away with the usual manual process of verification using printed copies of computerized voters’ list on Election Day. “So there will be no more discretion on the part of the electoral board or the Board of Election Inspector [BEI] as to the identity of the voter because just by finger-scanning the voter, the monitor will show if he or she is really the registered voter as listed in that particular precinct,” said Director J. Thaddeus Hernan, chairman of the Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC).
According to Hernan, the winning bidder will provide next year’s polls with 32,067 voter verification machines in identified areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and for the whole of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
He pointed out that not all 92,500 precincts throughout the country would be provided with the machines because it involves a big sum of money, thus the project would only be pilot-tested in big cities and municipalities and highly urbanized areas, including the ARMM.