Tanauan precinct shifts to manual voting as VCMs malfunction
MANILA, Philippines — Manual voting is being observed in a precinct in Tanauan, Batangas, after vote counting machine (VCMs) malfunctioned on Election Day.
According to a report by Saleema Refran, technical staff from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) tried to fix the VCMs at clustered precinct 21 in Tanauan South Central School but to no avail.
“Bale po ang instruction po sa amin, magkakaroon na po ng manual voting kasi naka-ilang try na po sa machines pero di po talaga siya nag-operate,” a certain Leila, the chairperson of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) in the precinct, said.
Manual voting means that ballots will not be inserted in the VCMs but instead will be placed inside a receptacle. An available VCM will still be used to count the votes cast.
Leila said the defective VCMs will not be replaced.
“Ang instruction po sa amin ng Comelec, pagkatapos po namin mag-manual voting, kung sino man po sa amin ang makakatapos ng VCM doon po namin siya pwede ipagpatuloy para po sa counting,” she said.
The chairperson said ballots that were accepted and read by the VCM were already separated.
“Kaharap po ng watchers, binuksan po natin ‘yung balota para po i-separate lahat po ng mga official ballot na nabilang na sa VCM,” Leila said.
“Sineparate po namin ‘yun, binundle po namin para po malinis, para po magumpisa po kami sa manual voting… Sineal po namin ‘yung mga balota na na-count ng machines tapos po pirmado ng watchers at kami po.”
However, in Refran’s latest report, it was said that the replacement of the defected VCM also failed to operate.
A total of 18 VCMs out of the 141 machines in Tanauan malfunctioned, the report noted.
Meanwhile, some VCMs in other areas of the country also failed to operate in the morning of Election Day, resulting in long lines of voters outside the precincts. (GMA Eleksyon 2019)
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