2025 Philippine elections

Comelec, Rappler launch Voter Hotline chat room for 2025 Philippine elections


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Comelec, Rappler launch Voter Hotline chat room for 2025 Philippine elections
The Voter Hotline chat room can be joined by anyone via the free Rappler Communities app. Comelec staff are part of the chat room to answer your questions.

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec) has teamed up with Rappler to empower Filipinos to directly reach the poll body through a public chat room.

On Thursday, June 6, Comelec and Rappler launched the Voter Hotline channel or chat room on the Rappler Communities app, the first news app in the world to have chat rooms.

The new chat room was launched in the Rappler newsroom during a live Comelec demonstration of the new automated counting machines (ACMs) that will be used for the 2025 midterm elections and the first parliamentary elections in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, also happening next year. Comelec Chairperson George Garcia led the demonstration.

MIRU Systems vote counting machine Comelec George Garcia
DEMO. Commission on Elections Chairperson George Garcia gives the public an early look and demonstration of the vote-counting machines that will be used for the 2025 elections at the Rappler newsroom on June 6, 2024. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

The Voter Hotline channel is a public chat room where anyone will be able to directly ask questions to the Comelec by tagging one of the poll body’s Education and Information Department staff who are part of the chat room.

Comelec staff in the Voter Hotline chat room

Around 10 Comelec staff were onboarded to the chat room by Rappler civic engagement arm MovePH on Thursday. They were given moderator status, which will allow them to pin messages to the top of the channel, respond to other chat room users, and notify all chat room users of announcements. As moderators, they can also flag messages.

The Voter Hotline channel is now available on the Rappler Communities app and can be entered by anyone who has downloaded the app. The app is free and available on webiOS, and Android.

MIRU Systems vote counting machine Comelec George Garcia
TRYING IT OUT. Members of various civil society groups get to try touch screen voting machines to be used for overseas voting in certain countries. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

“It’s not just politicians we are monitoring. As we know, there is disinformation. So, partnering with Comelec now and giving them the venue and the platform to inform voters and the public at large about their processes, about their activities, is our contribution to empowering the voters,” said Rappler Managing Editor Miriam Grace Go during the demo.

Ang aking laging pinapanindigan, dapat palaging nagpapaliwanag ang Comelec. Dapat nag-e-explain, at in a language na understandable ng ordinaryong kababayan natin,” said Garcia.

(What I have always advocated for is that the Comelec must always be providing explanations. We must explain, and in a language understandable to ordinary citizens.)

MIRU Systems vote counting machine Comelec George Garcia
Q AND A. Rappler head of community Pia Ranada, Comelec Chairperson George Garcia, and Rappler managing editor Miriam Grace Go lead an open forum during the voting machines demo. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

During the demo, Garcia explained the different systems to be used during the 2025 polls, including the system to be deployed for overseas voters. Volunteers from the audience also got to feed their ballots into the new voting machines supplied by South Korean firm Miru Systems. The Comelec chief sought to give assurances about the voting machines amid allegations hounding Miru.

Watch the entire demonstration and the open forum here. – Rappler.com

You can find the Voter Hotline chat room by downloading the Rappler Communities app, tapping the Community tab at the bottom, and looking for the Voter Hotline icon in the menu of chat rooms.

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