PHILIPPINES— The Commission on Elections has finished its final version of programs that will run the May 2022 polls.

The poll body tapped US-based Pro V&V based to certify and convert source codes.

Commissioner Marlon Casquejo flew to Alabama, USA to personally witness the creation of the final trusted build, or actual programs which will operate three components of the automated election system (AES).

Included are the codes that dictate how vote counting machines (VCMs) will read and count ballots, those for the consolidation and canvassing of tallied votes, and the overall election management system.

The same process also included the creation of unique hash codes for the VCMs and the voter’s receipt printed out after every ballot. It should match the original codes published by Comelec online. If it does not, it meant something was changed from the script and this may be questioned. This was the issue encountered in the 2016 elections, which the poll body clarified to be only a “cosmetic” change, where a candidate’s name was changed from “n” to “ñ.”

The process was finished in eight hours.

Comelec will eventually load the codes to the machines and test them out during the mock elections on Dec. 29 and for field tests running up to the May 9 voting day.

“We have done all the source code reviews of all of our AES components,” Casquejo said. “The source code will be converted to an executable file or an installer… This is very important because we will use it in our May 2022 national and local elections.”

Technology experts, poll watchdogs and political parties are finishing the line-by-line source code review. If any changes will be made, a new trusted build will have to be compiled.