Press Release
February 5, 2015

Pimentel wants Congress to study Comelec's plan to use Internet voting

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today called on the Senate leadership to immediately constitute and convene the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Overseas Voting Act of 2013 (JCOC-OVA) to study the necessity of other modes or systems for onsite and remote registrations and elections.

Pimentel has recently filed Senate Resolution No. 1143 for the JCOC-OVA to require from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) the submission of its report and recommendations on the proposed Internet-voting for select sea-based overseas Filipinos in the 2016 elections.

The JCOC-OVA is mandated by law to monitor and evaluate the implementation of Republic Act No. 9189, otherwise known as the Overseas Voting Act of 2013 as amended.

The law provides that Comelec "may explore other more efficient, reliable, and secure modes or systems, ensuring the secrecy and sanctity of the entire process whether "paper-based, electronic-based or Internet-based technology" for onsite and remote registration and elections.

Pimentel said the JCOC-OVA would like to know Comelec's plan to pilot test other modes or systems for onsite and remote registration and elections like the use of touchscreen and Internet voting systems in Pateros, Metro Manila and select sea-based Filipinos in next year polls.

Because the 2016 polls are fast approaching, Pimentel said it is only proper that the JCOC-OVA is immediately constituted and convened to study Comelec's plan to pilot tests Internet voting in the Americas, the Middle East, Hong Kong and Singapore during the national elections.

The use of Internet voting is expected to greatly boost the participation of sea-based Filipinos in select countries around the world where Comelec will be pilot testing the system.

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