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Poll watchdog begins review

What happened during 7-hour delay? PPCRV looks into server logs

By: - Correspondent / @melvingasconINQ
/ 05:38 AM May 18, 2019

The Church-based poll watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) on Friday began poring over the computer logs of the transparency server of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), particularly during a seven-hour delay in the transmission of the May 13 election results from voting precincts across the country.

The PPCRV chair, Myla Villanueva, said a team of computer experts had started sifting through the voluminous data that would supposedly reveal the activities that transpired in the system on Monday night.

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“We want to find out if indeed data continued to come in during those hours from the [vote-counting machines]; what exactly happened that stalled the transmission to our tally boards; and if the data transmitted is complete and accurate,” Villanueva said at a press briefing.

The PPCRV head was referring to the seven-hour interruption in the transmission of voting results, which raised fears that it provided a window for the electronic manipulation of the data.

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‘Bottleneck’ blamed

The Comelec transparency server stopped sending results to the PPCRV tally boards around 6:14 p.m. on May 13 after transmitting only about 0.3 percent of the total number of the votes cast.

The following day, Election Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said that the then unofficial count was delayed after the application for pushing out the results from the Comelec server to third-party organizations suffered a glitch, calling it a case of “bottleneck.”

The system involving the server and the data being sent to media networks got overwhelmed by the deluge of transmitted results, Casquejo said.

The PPCRV “will compare whether data from the central server matches those from the transparency server—especially that which was not seen for seven hours—to check if this is complete, not tampered with or free from any anomaly,” Villanueva said.

Prevailing questions

“What we are trying to do is to first look at the prevailing questions so we may be able to look at the answers to these questions. We will not stop until we get all the answers,” she said.

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The review may take time due to the large volume of data and the PPCRV will not open the logs in public in compliance with Comelec rules, Villanueva said. “If media outfits want a copy, you can request Comelec; I am confident you will be given,” she added.

While the review is in progress, the PPCRV will continue the  validation of election returns (ERs) from voting precincts across the country at its headquarters at Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Ermita, Manila.

As of Friday afternoon, it has received and recorded voting results from a total of 26,800 ERs, comprising about 30.6 percent of the total expected ERs, Villanueva said.

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TAGS: 7-hour delay, Comelec, delay, election results, Myla Villanueva, news, PPCRV
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