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Glitches admitted | Comelec: Problems on machine malfunction few

The Regional Commission on Elections (Comelec) XI yesterday admitted the failure of some vote counting machines (VCM) and voters verification registration machines (VRVM).

“The Comelec admits that from the start of the polls there were numerous malfunctioned VRVMs but we were not worried with that because VRVMs are not part of the automation. It was just a plus,” Comelec Region XI spokesperson Atty. Krisna Caballero said in an interview during the canvassing yesterday at the Sangguniang Panglunsod building.

Caballero said they could not give concrete reasons on the malfunction especially after the final testing and sealing conducted beforehand.

“We are still conducting (investigations) on the reason why (those machines) failed because as you remember, we (conducted) our final testing and sealing last May 9 where we included our VRVMs. It performed well. However, for some reasons, during the elections we found it hard to do log in,” Caballero said.

She, however, noted that some VRVMs were used by other polling centers. In case of total shutdown of the machine, Caballero said they resort to manual verification.

“We don’t really know the main cause of the malfunction. In case we can’t use it, we do resort to the Election Day Computerized Voters List (EDCVL),” she said.

Caballero admitted there were slight problems with the VCM as well.

“We are protecting our VCM more. There were some VCM malfunctions but we did not encounter any problem because we are ready for that contingency,” she said.

Caballero, however, did not quantify the number of malfunctioned VCMs.

“I could not count it yet but it was not too many because we did not ran out of contingency reserves,” she said.

She, however, denied any major issue due to the malfunctioning of the counting machines.

“Our problems with the VCM were not so major because we had standby contingency procedure. We also had technicians on standby. Complaints we usually get is on the feeding. Once we fed the machine too much, we will need to clean it,” she said.

“However, if it shuts down, we have replacement on standby,” she added.

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