Electoral Commission. CONSULTANT FILES

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) released a memorandum on Wednesday approving certain modifications to the hardware of automated counting machines (ACMs) for use in the 2025 national and local elections.

These customizations were based on observations made by stakeholders during the ACMs demonstration, according to the memo.

Approved customizations for ACMs hardware include:

1. Place the camera at the top of the electoral entrance.

2. Extending the metal clamp support (bolt) to place the plastic clamp safety seal with serial number.

3. Relocate the ACM real-time clock battery to the Secure Digital (SD) slot location and remove the SD slot. Covering half of the USB compartment located on the left side of the ACM to ensure the placement of the plastic security seal with the serial number.

4. Enlarge the screen from 13.3 to 14 inches.

5. Extend the privacy screen an additional 3 centimeters on both sides of the ACM screen.

6. Provide each ACM with a unique serial number (SN) that can be read by a barcode reader. The SN on the ACM must match the SN on the hard case.

7. Adjust the thermal paper compartment to accommodate a 150 meter roll of thermal paper.

8. Includes two wheels with retractable handle in the hard case.

9. Placement of a sticker with the Comelec logo on both sides of the ACM, with a design provided by Comelec.

READ: Comelec and Miru sign P17.99 B pact for automated searches in 2025

The more than 110,000 ACMs to be leased to the polling 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 receiving the contract for nearly P18 billion for the commission's Full Automation. System with Transparency Audit/Counting project.

The change involving the position of the camera at the ACM was made after the electoral oversight body Conselho Pastoral Paroquial para o Voto Responsável (PPCRV) raised concerns about the camera's initial position, which it considered “intrusive” and could potentially violate voters' privacy. .

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

READ: Comelec: lowest computed offer appears for voting system abroad

Meanwhile, the polling agency named the bidder with the “lowest calculated bid” to supply the online voting and counting system (OVCS) to be used in overseas voting for the 2025 mid-term elections.

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The bidder, which is a joint venture between SMS Global Technologies, Inc. and Sequent Tech, Inc., offered only P112 million, below the P465.8 million budget allocated by the research agency for the OVCS acquisition.