Pimentel sounds alarm on delayed ballot printing, VCM glitch
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Thursday that the printing of ballots and a glitch in the software of the vote-counting machines (VCMs) worries him the most ahead of the May midterm elections.
“I’m worried about the printing of ballots kasi na-delay po ang Comelec (Commission on Elections) ng 18 days and then magpi-print sila ng mas marami pa na six million more ballots compared sa last elections,” Pimentel told reporters after the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the automated election system.
“So na-delay ka na ng 18 days, you’ll print 6 million more ballots kasi dumami ang registered voters by 6 million, that worries me,” he added.
The Comelec earlier said that there are 61,817,040 registered voters for the elections on May 13, 2019.
Pimentel, however, said that the poll body has assured the committee that its schedule was crafted to have some elbow room.
“Pero sabi naman ng Comelec, nothing to be worried about kasi yung original schedule nila meron na talagang elbow room,” Pimentel said.
Another thing that needed to be addressed, he said, was the glitch that seemed to have been affecting the sequence of the numbers in the vote counting machines when a ballot is being fed through it.
“It has something to do with the software. Dapat madali na, yun dapat madaling utusan ang software na maglagay ka ng 1 to 500 bakit nag ja-jumble-jumble?,” he added.
Hence, the senator said that the committee would be applying “pressure” on the provider of the vote-counting machines and the poll body to address and fix the problem.
“We will pressure Smartmatic and Comelec technical people to explain this,” he said./gsg
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