Hardware modifications in automated counting machines approved

By: Zeus Legaspi - Inquirer.net | April 03,2024 - 08:26 PM


MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) issued a memorandum on Wednesday approving specific adjustments to the hardware of automated counting machines (ACMs) for their deployment in the 2025 national and local elections.

These customizations were based on observations made by stakeholders during the demonstration of the ACMs, as per the memorandum.

The approved customizations to the ACMs’ hardware include:

  1. Placing the camera at the top of the ballot entrance.
  2. Extending the cable tie metal holder (hasp) for the placement of the serially numbered plastic tie security seal.
  3. Relocating the Real-Time Clock battery of the ACM to the Secure Digital (SD) slot location and removing the SD Slot. Covering half of the compartment for USB located on the left side of the ACM to ensure the placement of the serially numbered plastic tie security seal.
  4. Enlarging the screen from 13.3 to 14 inches.
  5. Extending the Privacy Screen by an additional 3 centimeters on both sides of the ACM screen.
  6. Providing each ACM with a unique serial number (SN) readable by a barcode reader. The SN of the ACM should match the SN in the hard case.
  7. Adjusting the thermal paper compartment to accommodate a 150-meter thermal paper roll.
  8. Including two wheels with a retractable handle in the hard case.
  9. Placing a Comelec logo sticker on both sides of the ACM, with the design provided by Comelec.

The over 110,000 ACMs to be leased to the poll agency for next year’s midterm elections will be provided by the joint venture led by South Korean firm Miru Systems Co. Ltd (Miru Systems) after being awarded the almost P18 billion contract for the commission’s Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count project.

The modification involving the position of the camera on the ACM was made after poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) raised concerns regarding the initial position of the camera, which it deemed “intrusive” and may potentially breach the privacy of voters.

The purpose of the camera, Comelec earlier said, is to scan the QR code of election returns.

Meanwhile, the poll agency has named the bidder with “lowest calculated bid” for the provision of the online voting and counting system (OVCS) to be used in the overseas voting for the 2025 midterm elections.

The bidder, which is the joint venture of SMS Global Technologies, Inc. and Sequent Tech, Inc., only bid P112 million, lower than the poll agency’s allotted P465.8 million budget for the procurement of the OVCS.


Comelec awards vote counting machine contract to Miru Systems

2025 Elections: Cebu logs 5,082 new applications – Comelec

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