Comelec execs grilled at Senate over PCOS glitches
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) was grilled at the Senate Wednesday over the reported glitches that marred the operations of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines during a recent mock election.
The joint congressional oversight committee on automated election system, headed by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, questioned poll officials why some of the ballots were spewed out by the optical machines.
Poll executive director Jose Tolentino Jr. blamed incorrect feeding of the ballots into the machine by some participants of the mock election.
Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said that improper insertion of the ballot causes folding or crumpling of the ballot.
He said that may explain why some of the security features of the ballot were altered.
Another possible reason for the rejection was improper or insufficient shading on the ballot by a participant, Brillantes said.
He, however, said that a voter has up to four tries in inserting the ballot into the PCOS machine so he or she can correct mistakes, Brillantes said.
Cavite Representative Elpidio Barzaga Jr. asked whether the technical foul up was caused by the incorrect dimensions of the ballot, specifically its thickness.
The thickness of the ballot, the poll chief said, could not possibly be the cause since only a few ballots were rejected.
Meanwhile, Tolentino said the media have exaggerated the reports on the glitches of the PCOS machines.
He pointed out that at the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus where one of the mock elections had been held, only one ballot was rejected by the optical machine.
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