Tag Archives: PCOS machine

Automated polls’ ‘birth pains’ provide hard lessons – Daniel Razon

For many, the May 10 automated elections had the same issues as the previous manual polls. It’s just that this time the tales of fraud are told with a cutting-edge twist.

While many Filipinos believed that the May 10 automated elections was groundbreaking in a sense that it had transmitted results in a surprising speed, there remained suspicions on the authenticity of the results.

In fact, despite the assurance given by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic-TIM, the company handling the technical side of the May 10 polls, that the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines used in the polls are fraud-free, there were still allegations of poll rigging.

Starting with the videotaped interview of a masked man calling himself as Robin (more known to the media as “koala bear” because of his mask) last May 18 that linked the two leading vice presidential contenders – Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas and Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay – in poll manipulation, string of complaints of fraud followed suit.

There was even an alleged “Hello Nico” phone conversation between Comelec commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer and Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno in connection with the May 10 national and local elections that was being heard by the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms last May 26.

For veteran broadcaster and host of morning show “Good Morning Kuya,” Daniel Razon, the hubbub rising from the country’s first automated elections is but a natural reaction to any new endeavor.

In a press interview during the concert “Pro-test Broadcast” last May 17, Razon said that just like in any other beginnings, the polls last May 10 has undergone “birth pains.”

Daniel Razon answers questions from reporters present during the press briefing of Protest Broadcast concert event.

Razon admitted that “whether it is manual or automated … (vote) cheating remains a possibility.”

What further escalated Razon’s worries on the poll system was the slow learning curve of the Comelec and Smartmatic amid the numerous simulations of the PCOS machines in different areas.

“During the many simulations that we have done in the past, there were many lessons that should have been learned but remained unaddressed.” Kuya Daniel lamented. “Sometimes we have to learn our lessons the hard way.”

True to Razon’s comment, the Comelec and the Smartmatic, as of this writing, are busy disproving the accusations of massive cheating using the PCOS machines being heard in Congress, a task that could have been prevented if only they have learned their lessons and corrected beforehand the foreseen glitches.(By Anthony Chua)

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Long queue amid glitches, hot weather mark first automated Philippine Polls

Apalit, Pampanga – Enthusiastic voters at the Sampaloc Elementary School in Apalit, Pampanga started lining up as early as 3 a.m. only to be dismayed of the long queue and slow processing of votes.

Some voters who came at 6 to 7  a.m. were only able to finish within a range of five  to six hours.

Long queue of voters at first automated polls in the Philippines

While many were seen exhausted but patiently waited for their turn to cast their votes – enduring  all the inconveniences and the very high temperature –  some went home early without waiting for their turn to cast vote.

At Precinct No. 49 alone, 646 voters were listed registered while in Precinct No. 50, there are 878t.  With these numbers, the average number of registered voters for these Precincts, were 770, more or less.

The COMELEC estimated time for each voter to be able to completely finish one (1) vote is eight (8) minutes.

Long queue of voters amid very hot weather mark the Philippines' foray into automated polls.

However, based on an actual observation from 7:30 AM to 1:47PM, only 336 voters out of 646 in the list were able to cast their votes.  Each voter consumed an average of 10 minutes at its fastest to complete the whole process of voting.

With these figures, out of the average of 770 registered voters in each precinct 43.63% only have cast their votes as of 1:47PM or within 6 hours and 47 minutes.

The voting period was said to have been extended until 7:00 PM but with barely five hours left for the almost 56% of voters who have not cast their votes:  How much more in those areas where peaceful election is unlikely?

Another valid observation culled from the new automated election system is the trust and confidence that votes are actually counted.  PCOS Machine do not show confirmation that votes cast were indeed registered or correctly read by the said machine. [Citizen Report by Rose Cemanes]

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UNTV News Coverage: The Week that was (May 3-7)

May 6, 2010

  • COMELEC, tiniyak na matatapos ang pagpapalit ng CF cards hanggang BiyernesMatutuloy ang automated election sa May 10 kahit anong mangyari.  Ito ang naging pahayag ng COMELEC at Smartmatic sa kanilang muling pagharap sa media. Tiniyak rin ng mga ito na maaayos agad ang problema sa mga compact flash cards na gagamitin sa halalan at makakaabot sila sa itinakdang oras.
  • Palasyo, naniniwala pa rin sa kakayahan ng COMELEC — Naniniwala pa rin ang Malacañan na kayang mairaos ng Commission on Election ang maayos ang halalan sa Lunes, May 10.  Sinabi ni deputy presidential spokesperson Gary Olivar na kampante sila sa mga hakbang na ipinapakita ng COMELEC at Smartmatic-Tim para matiyak na matutuloy ang itinakdang halalan. Iginiit naman ng kalihim na walang kinalaman si Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sa panukala ni Atty. Romulo Macalintal na ipagpaliban ang halalan.

May 4, 2010

  • PNP at AFP Information Center para sa halalan, handa na — Nakahanda na ang information center ng Philippine National Police at Armed Forces of the Philippines bilang bahagi ng paghahanda ngayong halalan.  Ayon kay Task Force Hope commander, Deputy Director General Edgardo Acuña, gagamit sila ng Skype upang makapagbigay ng live update ang kanilang mga tauhan sa mga nagaganap sa halalan.
  • Palasyo, tiwala pa rin sa magagawa ng COMELEC — Hindi parin nawawalan ng tiwala ang palasyo sa commission on elections sa kabila ng napakaraming aberyang nangyayari sa mga paghahanda sa eleksyon.  Ayon kay deputy presidential spokesman Rogelio Peyuan, hahayaan nilang ang COMELEC ang gumawa ng aksyon kaugnay ng mga problemang naglalabasan sa PCOS machines, data transmisison at pagpapa-recall sa memory cards ng makina.

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