Expect more PCOS failures in the 2013 election

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PCOS machine demo. Photo by Michael Sinjin Pineda
PCOS machine demo. Photo by Michael Sinjin Pineda

SORSOGON CITY (2-Feb-2013) – “The mock election showed COMELEC has not learned from the 2010 automated election system (AES) implementation,” said Rick Bahague of Kontra Daya and VoteReportPH. “Serious problems in reading ballots cannot be claimed as minor errors,” added Mr. Bahague.

The mock election is supposed to test the accuracy and readiness of different components of the AES. “It will be more chaotic and problematic than the previous election. We should expect more PCOS in bad condition,” said Mr. Bahague. “Not a single ballot was accepted by the PCOS. There are also problems in the initialization. The thermal paper used does not fit on the printer,” observes Mr. Bahague.

COMELEC was forced to use a back-up machine during the UPIS mock election. Ballots were not accepted by the actual PCOS. Around 2,000 units will serve as contingency or back-up PCOS or 1 to 2 for every town will be assigned as back-up. “The number of back-up PCOS is insignificant,” warns Mr. Bahague.

VoteReportPH and Kontra Daya volunteers recorded the following errors in the UPIS mock elections:

1. BEI and COMELEC officers inside the precinct did not observed rulesof the actual conduct of election. A few have been tinkering the PCOS even after the initialization report. This is prohibited in the COMELEC General Instructions for the BEI in 2010 election

2. Thermal paper used does not properly fit in the PCOS printer.

3. PCOS failed to accept and read ballots.

4. PCOS was restarted at 8:24AM without informing watchers.

5. PCOS was replaced at 8.28AM.

6. A number of ballots were rejected.

“This mock election showed that COMELEC is not ready to use the AES in the coming election. Failures and errors already pointed out by various groups based on the 2010 experience still exist,” concludes Mr. Bahague.

VoteReportPH is an election monitoring effort using social media. Kontra Daya is a broad campaign of various organizations committed against election fraund and failure of election.

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