2022 Philippine Elections

Random manual tally of votes begins to check accuracy of VCMs

Dwight de Leon
Random manual tally of votes begins to check accuracy of VCMs

FILE PHOTO. A vote-counting machine in the 2019 polls.

Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Comelec Commissioner Aimee Ferolino, who heads the RMA committee, had said the the audit will help erase doubts about the credibility of the automated election system

The Commission on Elections (Comelec), Philippine Statistics Authority, and civil society organizations kicked off the 45-day random manual audit (RMA) of votes cast for the 2022 elections.

Ballot boxes from 757 randomly chosen clustered precincts all over the country began arriving on Thursday, May 12, at the Diamond Hotel, Pasay, where the RMA is being held.

The RMA, in essence, is a process that checks whether vote-counting machines tallied the ballots fed into it accurately.

Public school teachers check the ballots one by one, and tally the votes. The RMA result will be compared to that of the automated election system (AES) to determine if there is any discrepancy.

In 2016 and 2019, random manual audits of select vote-counting machines had accuracy rates of 99%.

Comelec Commissioner Aimee Ferolino, who heads the RMA committee, had said the the audit will help erase doubts about the credibility of the AES, amid unfounded allegations so far of automated polls rigging. – Rappler.com

Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers local government units and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.