Comelec to improve AES for 2019 mid-term polls

MANILA, August 17, 2016--The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to improve the automated election system (AES) to be used in the May 2019 midterm polls.

However, Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista noted that they have yet to discuss which system will be used in the elections two years from now, whether it is the old Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines or the recently-used vote counting machines (VCMs), both of which were provided by Smartmatic International.

“There is nothing cast in stone yet in terms of what system we will be using in 2019. But obviously, these kinds of surveys will help us make informed judgments,” he said during the Pulse Asia briefing on the survey results of the May 2016 polls in Manila on Wednesday.

The poll body chief said they will also seek advice from the stakeholders as to the possible system to be tapped in the May 2019 elections.

“One area we really like to improve upon is to start the process much earlier. I think there should be earlier consultation with various stakeholders as to what they think should the right system be,” said Bautista.

Meanwhile, nine in every 10 Filipinos are in favor of using AES in future polls.

According to recently-released July 2016 Survey of the Pulse Asia Research Inc., a total of 88 percent of the respondents are looking forward to having the AES continued in future elections.

Majority of the respondents from the Visayas and Mindanao with ninety two percent each approved the AES continuation while those in Luzon and National Capital Region registered an approval rate of 85 percent.

Nine percent does not support the continuation of AES while the remaining three percent said they don’t know. A total of 6 and 5 percent of respondents in the Visayas and Mindanao, respectively, rejected the continuation of the AES; while NCR and Luzon had 12 and 11 percent, respectively, of the respondents wanting the AES revoked.

In the said survey, there were a total of 1,200 respondents randomly selected from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.(by Ferdinand G. Patinio, PNA)


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