Polling precincts for the random manual audit will be known on the day of the polls—Comelec

By on March 13, 2016

A sample of a ballot for 2016 Philippine election (Twitter photo).
A sample of a ballot for 2016 Philippine election (Twitter photo).

MANILA—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has said the polling precincts that will be subjected to the random manual audit (RMA) after the close of voting on May 9 will only be known in the morning of Election Day.

“The List of Specific Clustered Precinct/s per legislative district that will undergo RMA shall be disclosed in the morning of the day of the elections,” said Comelec Resolution No. 10078 dated March 11.

The resolution also provides the General Instructions for the RMA for the May 2016 national and local polls.

Comelec–RMA Committee (RMAC) head Commissioner Luie Guia said that the number of clustered precincts in 2016 to be subjected to RMA will be 715 compared to only 234 in 2013.

The poll body said that at least one clustered precinct per legislative district will be drawn randomly using an automated random selection program.

Additional clustered precincts for RMA, meanwhile, will be based on the proportionate allocation of clustered precincts per legislative district in comparison with the total number of clustered precincts.

“The computation for the proportionate allocation of clustered precincts and the design of the automated random selection program shall be under the control of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA),” the Comelec said.

It added that the random selection of the clustered precincts to be audited per legislative district will be done not later than four days prior to Election Day by the RMAC.

Section 29 of the Poll Automation law provides that “there shall be a random manual audit in one precinct per congressional district randomly chosen by the Commission.”

The RMA is the process that will be used to determine if there is any difference between the automated and manual count of votes.

On the other hand, those who will serve as RMA Team (RMAT) members shall each be entitled to Php2,000 honorarium to cover for their services, as well as meal and transportation allowance.

Each team will be composed of five members per clustered precinct selected for RMA composed of public school teachers.

They are expected to proceed to their assigned polling places on the day of elections since the RMA must be conducted immediately after the sealing of the ballot boxes.

Qualified to become RMAT members are those with good moral character, non-partisan, and of irreproachable reputation; a registered voter in the province where he/she is to serve; not related up to fourth level of consanguinity to any candidate or members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI)s; never been convicted of any election offense; have no pending case before the Comelec for any election offense; can speak, read, or write English or Filipino and the local dialect; and have undergone the required RMA training.

In the previous polls, clustered precincts that were subjected to RMA were disclosed two days before the Election Day.