Petition asks Comelec to study possible disqualification of Smartmatic from 2025 polls

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 16) - A petition filed with the Commission on Elections sought the review of qualifications of poll automation technology provider Smartmatic in light of reported irregularities during the 2022 general elections.

"The serious and material irregularities in the transmission and reception of election results in the AES (automated election system) provided and deployed by Smartmatic during the 09 May 2022 elections constitute a violation of the minimum system capabilities required by law, and if not satisfactorily explained, constitute sufficient grounds for the disqualification of Smartmatic from participating in the procurement for the 2025 Automated Election System," stated the petition filed by Eliseo Rio Jr., a former secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and three others.

They cited reported irregularities between the transmission logs and reception logs of election returns from the precinct level to the commission's transparency server (TS).

"The TS was receiving and counting more votes than what the voting counting machines were transmitting from 7pm to at least 9pm on 09 May 2022," the petitioners said.

"These material discrepancies, which remain unexplained to date, constitute a violation of the minimum system capabilities required by law and have created serious doubts on the integrity of the entire election process," they added.

The law states that the minimum standards of an automated election system include adequate security against unauthorized access, accurate recording and reading of votes and accurate ballot counters.