House Installs Computerized Voting System

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Byline: EDMER F. PANESA

House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. said yesterday that the electronic biometric voting system being installed in the plenary hall of the House of Representatives would be part of his leadership's "legacy to the nation."

The five-time Speaker said the House will start using the new voting system by first week of February after the approval of the new House rules that will include procedures for electronic voting.

"We are proud of this program," said De Venecia, who was flanked by Deputy Speakers Raul del Mar and Simeon Datumanong, House Majority Leader Arthur Defensor, and Paranaque City Rep. Eduardo Zialcita, during the inspection of the ongoing installation of the new House voting system.

"We are happy to announce to our people that beginning the first week of February we will have electronic voting, so we will be among the first parliaments in Asia that will have electronic voting just like the parliament of Japan, the parliament of European Union, and the United States Congress," De Venecia added.

The R15-million electronic biometric voting system is part of the e-legislation project started by De Venecia in 2006. It will be used for voting and attendance of the 240 House members to save time on roll call.

Those to be installed in the session hall are 250 Internet protocol-based gadgets with the fingerprint scanner (one each per table per congressman and some House officials), and four 42-inch screens to show votes and attendance, and one central processing unit for the whole system. …