Voting closed today for 669 overseas Filipinos invited to participate in an online voting test run organized by the country’s Commission on Elections (Comelec) and facilitated by Voatz.
Under Republic Act No. 10590, also known as the Overseas Voting Act of 2013, Comelec has the jurisdiction to “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 or such other latest technology available, for onsite and remote registration and elections.” In order to better understand the security of online voting systems and their accessibility for overseas voters, Comelec invited select voting providers to showcase their systems during test elections this fall.
The Voatz system was showcased during a test election that lasted from September 11th to 13th. A mock ballot featuring celebrity candidates and a plebiscite-style question about mandatory Covid-19 vaccines was used to give participants the opportunity to test the system. Out of 669 volunteer participants, 348 cast their ballots before the test window closed. This 52.01% turnout surpassed what the country typically sees for its overseas voters, according to Comelec Director of Overseas Voting, Bea Wee-Lozada. Under the current system, overseas Filipinos can either cast their ballots in-person at Philippine consulates and embassies or pay the postal fees to return their ballots by mail.
Voatz was honored to participate in the i-voting test run, which will be remembered as an important milestone in the country’s efforts to increase security and accessibility in elections.