Comelec mulls using some old PCOS machines
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) might use some of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines from previous elections to reduce queues in clustered polling precincts during the May 2016 elections.
Comelec Chair Andres Bautista said the 94,000 new optical mark readers (OMR) it will lease from Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. for the 2016 elections might not be enough.
In a statement, Bautista said the Comelec might refurbish some of the 82,000 PCOS machines it owns and which are stored in a Laguna warehouse to add to the leased OMRs and bring down the voter-to-machine ratio to 600 voters to one machine.
He said some information technology firms had volunteered their expertise and services to examine the PCOS machines bought in 2012 and determine which could be used next year.
Bautista said there would still be a bidding for the refurbishment and upgrade of the PCOS machines for use in the 2019 mid-term elections.
“One of the Comelec’s goals is to enhance the voting experience… We are also trying to find ways to decongest some clustered precincts with traditionally high voter turnouts so that our people would not be inconvenienced when they go to their precincts,” Bautista said.
He said the Comelec wanted to eliminate long lines and the only way to do that was to increase the number of PCOS machines per clustered precinct.
Apart from welcoming IT volunteers, Bautista directed the Comelec’s asset department to take an inventory of the equipment and election paraphernalia that were used in the 2013 mid-term elections.—Jeannette I. Andrade
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