Comelec braces for nationwide mock elections

MANILA, Philippines – Gearing up for the presidential polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to hold mock elections on Saturday, February 13, in 20 key locations across the Philippines.

In a statement, the Comelec said it expects more than 25,000 voters to join the mock elections on Saturday.

The poll body said the process aims to test the Philippines’ automated election system. 

This is the 3rd time the Philippines is conducting automated national and local elections. The country first did this in 2010, then in 2013. 

The Comelec said it is holding mock elections in areas such as the following:

Facing a major problem

The Comelec also conducted mock elections in 2013.

Back then, a committee found 15 discrepancies between the tally of the vote-counting machine and the random manual audit. 

While the Comelec prepares for the mock elections on Saturday, however, it continues to face a major problem. 

Comelec Commissioner Christian Lim said the new problem involves incompatible codes in the systems to be used. The Comelec now needs to redo a major step to make these codes compatible.

This compatibility issue prompted the Comelec to delay the printing of ballots.

This could also affect other election schedules.

Lim warned that because of this problem, the Comelec might need to postpone the May 9 national and local elections in a few areas.

On the prospects of postponing elections, he said, "Sana naman hindi." (I hope not.) – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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