COMELEC: Software for 2022 automated polls now ready

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said the final version of software programs for the 2022 Automated Election System (AES)  has already been completed and is now ready.

The technical process was conducted by international systems and software testing firm, Pro V&V, headed by its chief executive officer and director Ryan Jackson Cobb in Huntsville, Alabama in the United States.

Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo witnessed the process with  other officials from the Department of Science and Technology, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

The Comelec said the process involves the building of AES which includes the Election Management System, the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs), the Consolidated Canvassing System. The EMS compiles the number and profile of registered voters, their geographic locations, polling precinct information, among others, all of which are necessary for designing the official ballots.

The CCS, on the other hand, conducts the automated tallying and monitoring of data received from polling precincts and lower levels of the board of canvassers. Casquejo said activity which lasted eight hours, was live-streamed through the poll body’s Facebook page, and is being shown live for transparency.

“The purpose for making this public is for transparency because after this one we are going to publish the said hash code of all these that is being trusted and built so anyone can check during Election Day whether or not it’s the same software that we built,” he said.

“Everything has been done and we have successfully concluded the trusted build. Thank you very much for your patience in waiting until the last activity,” the Commissioner added.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, on the other hand, said the activity means the testing of all the components of the system to be used in next year’s polls.

“Basically what is happening is that we tested all of the individual components of the AES and that’s a lot of components. What we’re doing now is compiling them into one set of instructions that will now then run the machines on Election Day not just the machines of course, not just the VCMs but the entire automated election system and that’s everything from the election management system, to the VCMs to the CCS, which is the consolidated canvassing system as well as all of the other programs that are required to run the entire thing,” Jimenez said.

“So that’s what we are doing here, we are literally building the entire software structure for the 2022 Elections,” he added. The activity started 6 p.m. Thursday, Alabama time (8 a.m. Friday, Manila time).