‘Smiley’ on ballots in mock polls fails to make Comelec smile

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02:20 PM February 28th, 2013

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By: Maila Ager, February 28th, 2013 02:20 PM

MANILA, Philippine — Putting a “smiley” in the ballots during mock elections is definitely not making  the Commission on Elections (Comelec) happy.

This is the reason why the Comelec is reluctant to hold  another mock automated election despite the reported glitches of the  precinct  count  optical scan (PCOS) machines during the previous mock polls, its executive  director, Attorney Jose Tolentino Jr., told an oversight committee hearing on  automated election system on Thursday.

“Noong nag conduct kami ng simulation  sa Comelec, yung mga participants  really wanted to find out what will happen if they place a dot on the oval,”  Tolentino said.

“Ang discussion is, why should we conduct another simulation when the  participants will only make  a mockery out of it like putting a smiley, putting a big line on all the ovals just to find out what will happen…”

“Actually, never kaming nagkaroon ng instance na kapag nag simulate kami, tama ang pagka-shade. Talagang sinasadya nila just to find out how the PCOS  will read …” he pointed out.

So when Dasmarinas Representative Elpidio Barzaga  Jr, co-chairman of the committee, asked if  the poll body  would still hold another  mock election before the May 2013 elections ,  Tolentino said: “The matter is still being discussed with the commissioners. We are divided.”

Bayan Muna Representative  Neri Colmenares, who attended the meeting, expressed surprise that the poll body has yet to debate  whether or not to conduct a mock election.

“What’s the debate about? Anong issue ag pinagdedebatehan?”  Colmenares  asked.

And when Tolentino explained  how the participants  made a “mockery” of their last  mock polls,  Colmenares said, “But I think the reason you’re conducting this simulated elections is to test its actual condition…”

“But you see,  the credibility of the mock election is under question tapos yun lang naman ang dahilan baka maglagay na naman ng smiley, napakababaw na dahilan para hindi i-conduct…E di sabhn  n yo lahat na nandun na seryosohin nyo. It’s not a big deal…”

“Nagulat ako…akala ko you’re talking of budget, pera,” Colmenares added.

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