Another delay for poll preps: Comelec fails to finish finalizing source code

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Comelec demonstrates capabilities of new vote counting machines to League of Cities of the Philippines. (File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Another missed deadline for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) involving the software for poll automation.

The poll body was supposed to deposit to the Bangko Sentral three source codes on Tuesday (February 9) — which serve as the “DNA” or “spine” of the software, crucial to run the approaching presidential elections.

IT experts from Comelec contractors Smartmatic and SLI global worked very late Monday night to construct the final form of the three source codes.

They finished the code for the election management system (EMS) and for the vote counting machines (VCM). But they found issues with the code for the canvassing system (CCS).

“What I know is that the EMS is ready. The VCM didn't encounter any problems. And it's just the CCS. The CCS, sure, it's the end part and, sure, it's the consolidation part but it's one out of three,” Comelec spokesman Dir. James Jimenez told the media.

How important are the source codes?

The three source codes represent the three components of the automated election system.

On Monday, Comelec Senior Commissioner Christian Robert Lim said they had to repeat the final build of the EMS code, which generates ballot faces and is equally important in formatting the SD cards.

Also read: What the source code review is and why it is important to the 2016 elections

The Comelec postponed the ballot printing to February 15 because of this. Printing of ballots should have started February 8.

Now, the issue is with the CCS code. Although it may not be as crucial in preparing for the polls, ultimately, the three source codes are interdependent.

The Comelec said it would rather wait for all three codes to be finished, before locking them up at the Bangko Sentral for safety.

Polls may be partially postponed?

On Monday, Comelec commissioner Lim himself said he is worried that the polls may be partially postponed because of the domino effect these delays will cause.

Also read: Comelec may postpone polls in some areas as ballot printing delayed anew

But Jimenez downplayed that worry.

“Which means that, ultimately, you've been delayed one day. Aright. So, all told, these circumstances tell me na we're still within tolerance,” said Jimenez.

“Our timelines naman are not do or die that if it doesn't happen today, tumba lahat. There's some flex allowed in our timelines. Should I be worried? I'm not worried right now.”

Jimenez said they plan to finish the CCS code on Wednesday (February 9), and that the Comelec would explain the situation more fully.

Meanwhile, he also said they have proceeded loading the EMS code into the servers to begin the process of producing the ballots.