The National Movement for Free Elections yesterday asked the Commission on Elections to look into the capability of the Precinct Count Optical Scan machines to initialize, operate and transmit the results on election day.
This was after the poll watchdog received reports from their provincial chapters, including in Negros Oriental, that the machines malfunctioned after several demonstrations were held, a government press release said.
Namfrel national chair Corazon de la Paz-Bernardo, said in her letter to Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., that the malfunctioning of the PCOS machines will pose problems on congestion and long lines in the precincts; voluntary disenfranchisement for voters who do not have the time or patience to wait; possibility of low turnout; and frustration for both the Board of Election Inspectors members and the voters.
She said that during the mock elections on February 2, failure of transmission of the result was observed in Dumaguete City and other places; and the BEIs in Kabulakan, Sta. Catalina town in Negros Oriental were advised to try transmitting at the local Comelec office because of the signal glitch.
Other problems noted were the delay in the initialization of the PCOS machines, unavailability of technicians to assist the BEIs, malfunctioning units and ballot rejection, the Namfrel said.
De la Paz-Bernardo said they know that Comelec is trying its best to ensure that preparations for the May 13 elections include the operation-worthiness of the PCOS machines. Technical staff should double check the capability of the units so that the polls will run smoothly, from voting to transmission, the press release also said.
Namfrel is the Comelec’s citizens’ arm for the May polls.*PNA
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