Ballot fed wrongly in VCM triggers long line in Davao del Norte
STO. TOMAS, Davao del Norte — A ballot with zero votes that was fed into a vote counting machine (VCM) led to a glitch and a long line of voters at a polling precinct in this town Monday morning, May 13, while members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) tried to fix the problem.
Voters trooped to Clustered Precinct 19 at the Sto. Tomas Elementary School in Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte, as early as 6 a.m. hoping to cast their votes early for today’s midterm elections.
But their expectation and excitement were doused when a public school teacher, who served as a BEI, fed an empty ballot into the VCM which then malfunctioned.
The teacher thought it was part of the test for the VCM, according to Ginalyn Caga, the precinct’s Election Supervising Officer from the Department of Education (DepEd).
“The BEI erroneously fed the ballot that’s why voters form a long queue in this precinct. But we already communicated the problem to our higher-ups,” Caga told the INQUIRER.
It was only about an hour later, or past 7 a.m., when voters in Clustered Precinct 19 started to cast their votes after the VCM was reset to zero, she said.
The conduct of the midterm polls here was relatively peaceful Monday morning as security forces were positioned in strategic areas near the school.
A total of 64,276 voters are registered in Sto. Tomas town, according to Comelec. (Editor: Cenon B. Bibe Jr.)
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