Comelec: Opening of ballot boxes from 2022 polls to push through

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 20) — The opening of some ballot boxes from the 2022 elections will push through after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc expressed support for the proposal, Chairman George Garcia said Friday.

"I initially talked to the members of the en banc and they are so responsive, positive sa ating po ng (on our) proposal just to settle once and for all all these doubts and as regards to the integrity of the results of the previous election," Garcia told CNN Philippines' The Source.

Petitioners led by former Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio recently renewed calls to disqualify technology provider Smartmatic as bidder due to "serious and grave irregularities in the transmission and receipt of election returns" in the 2022 national polls.

Smartmatic has called the accusations "mere baseless speculations with a singular goal of maligning" the company.

Garcia said Comelec and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting already did manual auditing of the 2022 elections, which resulted in accuracy of 99.9% and 99.97%, respectively.

The poll body is still willing to shoulder the expenses for the opening of ballot boxes to be chosen by the petitioners to finally settle the issue, he said.

This process will also help Comelec in its search for its technology provider in the 2025 elections, he added.

Comelec earlier said it targets to open the ballot boxes in November.