SC maintains VVPAT can’t be considered as ballot

By on March 18, 2016


The Supreme Court of the Philippines building in Manila, Philippines. Photo by Mike Gonzalez / Wikimedia Commons.
The Supreme Court of the Philippines building in Manila, Philippines. Photo by Mike Gonzalez / Wikimedia Commons.

MANILA—The Supreme Court (SC) has maintained that the voters receipt is important to effectively comply with the provision of the Automated Elections Systems (AES) Law in connection with the Voters Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).

The SC made the declaration in their resolution dismissing the motion for reconsideration of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The SC said that this was in reply to the argument of the Comelec that based on the earlier decision of the SC in the case of “Roque et al vs. Comelec”, the VVPAT is the ballot itself under the paper-based election system.

However, the SC said, the interpretation of the Comelec was incorrect such that aside from the fact that the SC has not yet directly stated that the ballot will comply with the VVPAT requirement and even if the ballot can be used in the audit, the same is not “voter-verified”.

The SC added that it is also incorrect for the Comelec to say that the law does not provide that each voter has to verify whether the vote counting machine (VCM) has correctly recorded his votes.

It said that it is clearly stated under Section 6 of the AES Law that the voter has to verify whether the election machine has correctly read his chosen candidates.

The SC stressed that the voter verification will only take effect if the voter has finished his voting and this will not be done through a simple paper ballot only.

It added that through the VVPAT, the true will of the electorate will be sufficiently protected.