Could Online Voting Be the Future for the Philippines?

It could be successful by 2025.

The Commission on Elections said Wednesday voting via internet is possible for the 2025 elections should test runs yield positive results.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said if internet voting succeeds after three rounds of tests, she would recommend it to the Comelec En Banc, which would then propose it to Congress if ever. 

"If these test runs are efficient, effective, and cost-efficient, I will recommend to the Comelec En Banc that we request Congress, of course the House and Senate, to consider passing a law to use mobile app voting in the future. If we're looking at 2025, that's quite possible 'cause that's another three years from now," she said during the launch of the first internet voting test run.

Voatz, a U.S.-based private mobile election voting application provider, will lead the tests on Sept. 11 to 13, catering to overseas Filipinos.

According to Guanzon, budget will be the main consideration for Comelec on top of security and accessibility among voters, citing the Department of Budget and Management's slashing of the Office for Overseas Voting's purse "for several years".

"DBM for several years slashed the budget of OFOV," she said, noting this led to additional costs for overseas voters. 

"But if you have internet voting, almost every OFW or registered voter has a smart phone or access to it. We're hoping with all these costs, there will be an offset against cost using internet voting," she said. 

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by editors.

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