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VCM problems delay voting in Davao del Norte town, Kidapawan City

SANTO TOMAS, DAVAO DEL NORTE — The voting in Precinct 134A and the entire precinct cluster where it belongs at Kinamayan Elementary School in this town was stopped after the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) found the ballots being fed in the VCM to be reportedly fake.

Comelec Election Officer Ipore Du-ot confirmed he received the report and was awaiting instructions on what to do.

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According to Deso Tech Ginalyn Caga, the ballots were fake because the VCM did not issue a receipt. She said each ballot had corresponding codes that should be read by the VCM. The code would appear in the receipt issued after the ballot had been cast.

Despite several attempts by the BEIs, the VCM refused to accept the reported fake ballots and the machine still failed to issue a receipt.

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As of 9 a.m., the problem has not yet been resolved, causing tension from voters coming from rival camps outside the precinct.

Voters and poll watchers were outraged upon learning about the fake ballots.

For security reasons, the VCM in this precinct was brought back to the Comelec headquarters in town as election officials tried to solve the problem.

In Kidapawan City, it took two hours for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to replace the defective Vote Counting Machine (VCM) in precinct 111A in Barangay Balabag, causing a delay in the casting of votes.

Josephine Macapas, acting election supervisor, however, said another problem occurred in the VCM that replaced the defective one.

Macapas said they found out that the SD card of the contingent machine was also defective.

“Again, this is beyond our control. We must push through with the casting of votes and collect the ballots while we are fixing the SD card,” Macapas said.

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Macapas asked the BEIs and the watchers of both parties to serve as witnesses while the shaded ballots would be feed to the VCM once the SD card would have already been fixed.

The casting of votes in Barangay Balabag commenced around past 8 am, Macapas said.

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TAGS: #VotePH2019, BEI, Board of Election Inspectors, Davao Del Norte, elections 2019, Kidapawan City, VCM, vote counting machines, voting
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