MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is looking to start the local source code review for the vote counting machines (VCMs) next month in connection with the May 2019 midterm polls.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez noted that they are planning to hold the review by September to be able to thoroughly assess it.
“The local source code review, we hope, can start in September. This will give us enough time to conduct a thorough local source code review,” Jimenez said in an interview.
The poll body official added that for this year, the local source code review will be held a month earlier, as compared to the one conducted in the 2016 polls, which was in October 2015.
Jimenez is hoping to start with the international source code review after they finish with the required public bidding process for the service provider.
“This will still be undergoing international code evaluation. Hopefully, we can be able to send it close to the start of the local source code review,” he said.
According to Republic Act 9369, the commission shall “promptly make the source code available and open to any interested party or group, which may conduct their own review”.
A separate source code review will also be conducted by an international certification entity to be chosen by the Comelec.
The source code is the human readable instructions that dictate what the automated election system will do.
Earlier, the Comelec has acquired the 97,517 VCM units for PHP2.1 billion that were used in the 2016 national and local polls. They will also be utilized in next year’s elections.
The machines were acquired after exercising the option-to-purchase (OTP) in its 2016 lease contract with Smartmatic International.