PCOS machines can now read ‘X’, check marks, says Comelec
MANILA, Philippines —The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has lowered the selection threshold for ballots, allowing even an “X” or check marks to be read by the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. announced Friday.
“A check or ‘X’ will be read by the PCOS machine [as a vote] because he have lowered to threshold … to 20 percent,” Brillantes told reporters in a press briefing.
“That is a low [threshold] that’s why if a check or ‘X’ is used, it might be counted or it might not be counted,” he said. “But we don’t want to stress that point because we still want people to fully shade.”
The threshold refers to the amount of shading of the oval in the ballot that will determine whether it would be counted by the PCOS or considered as an ambiguous mark.
The threshold for the 2010 automated elections was 50 percent, which had left some votes that fell below the threshold uncounted, Brillantes said.
During the revision of ballots, he said they saw many “X” and check marks used to indicate their vote, but since this was below the 50 percent threshold, they were not counted.
“But the intent was clear,” Brillantes said.
“We no longer want ballot rejections due to ambiguous marks, which happened when the shading is below the threshold,” he said.
But to ensure that their votes will be counted, Brillantes urged voters to fully shade their selection instead of simply using “X” and check marks.
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