Source code review for canvassing system starts

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By Mikha Flores, VERA Files

The Commission on Elections has opened the consolidation and canvassing system (CCS) source code for review but only two groups showed up on the first day.

Comelec Chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Wednesday source code reviewers from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and political coalition United Nationalist Alliance were briefed on the house rules in conducting the source code review.

The Comelec Project Management Office has set up an LCD television outside their office where the general public can monitor the source code reviewers. “That’s one of the conditions set out by the (Comelec Advisory Council) which we followed,” he said.

“The entire source code is important for credibility purposes,” Brillantes said. “The source code review by political parties and interested groups simply refers to satisfying those who are concerned with the elections,” he said, adding that they expect the source code reviewers to look for errors or bugs in the CCS source code.

The poll chief clarified that the on-going review does not include yet the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) program. The release of the PCOS source code has been held up by a lawsuit in a U.S. court between Dominion Voting Systems, developer of the technology, and Smartmatic, supplier of the PCOS machines.

The source code is a set of human-readable instructions that define what the computer or machine will do. The source code is translated to machine-readable instructions called binary codes to implement the instructions.

The Automation Law requires Comelec to open the Automated Elections System technology for review by political parties and interested groups.

Kami naman, we’re very confident because of the certification already issued by the SLI na six months nila nireview ang lahat ng yan, (On our part, we’re very confident because of the certification already issued by the SLI which reviewed the entire automated election system for six months),” Brillantes said. SLI Global Solutions is a Denver-based independent certifying agency.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”)

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