The Commission on Elections will hold an open the bidding on Nov. 8, 2023 for the P18.827-billion lease contract for a new automated election system for the 2025 midterm polls.
It will also decide next week whether or not to ban Smartmatic in the bidding process.
Comelec chairman George Garcia said the invitation to bid has been uploaded by Comelec on its website.
The contract is for the lease of 110,000 automated counting machines and other election-related materials and expenses.
“The poll body will procure not just the hardware to be used for the 2025 polls but also the software needed for the transmission of results and internet voting for overseas Filipino workers,” he said.
The poll chief said the use of a fully automated system is required by law and that the manual counting of votes tends to be marred with delays and errors, especially when a voter’s handwriting is illegible.
Meanwhile, the decision on a petition to ban service provider Smartmatic in the bidding process for the country’s next election system may come out next week, Garcia said.
“A draft resolution will be presented on Wednesday, so the Comelec en banc could either approve or reject it,” he said.
Smartmatic has been the poll technology provider since the country first held automated elections in 2010.
The petition against Smartmatic was filed by former Department of Information and Communications Technology chief Eliseo Rio Jr., Augusto Cadelina Lagman, Franklin Fayloga Ysaac, and Leonardo Olivera Odono on June 15.
However, Smartmatic denied the allegation, saying it was false and baseless with the aim of maligning the company.