Comelec takes PCOS on tour
MANILA, Philippines—As senatorial candidates and party-list nominees embark on their campaigns nationwide starting Tuesday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will also go around the country to set up demonstration centers for its precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the PCOS demo centers would provide voters an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the voting machines before May 10.
Jimenez said the poll body would set up 23 demo centers across the country. Majority of the centers will be in Metro Manila but election field officials will make the rounds of the provinces to conduct demonstrations.
“The point of these demo centers is for us to have a fixed location where people can come without the need for a prior appointment,” Jimenez told reporters in a recent interview.
In 2010, the Comelec conducted public demonstrations of the controversial voting machines following requests from schools, the media and other groups.
“But [for this elections], we want more people to see the demo so we are opening it to the public. We are going to accommodate not just the special interest people, school and media but also walk-ins,” Jimenez said.
The demonstrations at the centers will be conducted at regular intervals daily. A demo, which will tackle the basic PCOS operation and instructions, especially when ballots are rejected by the machine, will last 30 to 45 minutes.
He added that while demo centers would be set up, the Comelec would still accept invitations from groups wanting a demonstration during special events.—Jocelyn R. Uy
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