Mobile app voting eyed for absentee voters


By Raymart T. Lolo

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is considering the use of mobile phone app for the local and overseas absentee voting in the 2020 elections.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said Monday the move aims to ease the process of absentee voting.

In a Twitter post, Guanzon asked for the public’s position for the proposed voting mode.

“People of the Philippines, what do you think of voting thru mobile app but only for @COMELEC employees and officials and @DepEd_PH for a start?” said Guanzon.

“I am thinking of a plan, to start with @COMELEC and @DepEd_PH personnel because they are traceable, security can be assured, facial identification,” she added.

Guanzon also said the Comelec is looking at using a foreign mobile app for overseas voters.

“We will also think about testing mobile app in Singapore for our OFWs. I’m Commissioner in charge of overseas voting,” she added.

Eventually, mobile app voting can cover persons with disabilities (PWDs) and elderly, she said.

Section 28 of Republic Act No. 10590 states that “the Commission may explore other more efficient, reliable, and secure modes or systems, ensuring the secrecy and sanctity of the entire process, whether paper-based, electronic-based, or internet-based technology or such other latest technology available, for onsite and remote registration and elections and submit reports and/or recommendations to the JCOC”.

Guanzon said such a method of voting could be pilot tested for selected sectors under a controlled environment, which means, absentee voters’ numbers should be registered, while also being required of facial recognition.

The Commissioner, though, admitted that numerous details will still have to be laid down if such a voting method is to be adopted, particularly its security features.

“It is difficult to have security features if voting is thru SMS. Mobile app has face recognition ID,” said Guanzon. “Let’s think of some more of security features.”

p: wjg