Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista on Thursday said issuance of voter’s receipt will cause a big problem on Election Day (May 9, 2016) itself.
Bautista told Bombo Radyo that the poll body is not against the issuance of the receipt but that it is difficult to do so at this time since voting machines to be used in the coming local and national elections are not designed for such purpose.
Although the Comelec en banc is yet to make its final decision, his statement appeared to be the final decision of the poll body on the issue of the voter’s receipt.
Bautista said the voting machines had been configured for the elections without considering the receipt that should be issued to voters right after they cast their ballots.
The receipt is seen as proof that names of candidates the people voted for from the post of President down to municipal councilor would be properly registered and accounted for.
The Comelec, however, has expressed fears that the voter’s receipt might be sold to candidates as also proof that the sellers did vote for them.
Instead of the voter’s receipt, “online verification of votes” is being considered by the Comelec, according to Bautista.
The issuance of the receipt could be effected through the voter verification paper audit trail (VVPAT), one of the four minimum security requirements mandated by law, but which the Comelec refused to restore in the voting machines.
The poll body en banc unanimously had junked VVPAT, saying it will be used for vote- buying and it will delay the voting process.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has urged the Comelec to activate the security feature to ensure the integrity of the coming electoral exercise.
The VVPAT will allow voters to verify if their ballots were cast correctly through the issuance of a receipt.
It is mandated under Republic Act 9369 or the Automated Election Law.