Comelec mock polls to check for glitches
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—-The mock elections being conducted today in 40 polling areas around the country will reveal the glitches of the automated voting system, and would give the Commission of Elections enough time to correct the errors before the May 9 polls.
“It is safe to say that we are not expecting that the turnout of the mock elections will be perfect,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told reporters after leading a clean-up drive of illegal campaign postings around the city.
“We are sure that we can detect some difficulties. The point is [we should] refine the process…That is the important thing for us and because there is enough time, we can hold another mock elections if needed. The important thing is for us to know if we are ready,” Jimenez said.
The test elections are being held from 7 a.m. to noon today in 40 polling places in different regions throughout the country.
Jimenez said the machines will be tested under “real world conditions.”
“We want to know if the long-distance transport [of the machines] will have any effect on them…We will also know if the weather conditions will have an effect on the ballots,” he said.
He said the machines will require the digital signatures of all three members of the board of election inspectors before they can transmit election results.
“We believe this is a secure feature of the machines. If there are transmission problems, we will try to find out why,” he said.
Worried over the negative reports about the test results on the vote-counting machines, the camp of Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero is asking the Comelec to hold a dialogue with stakeholders to discuss the “accurate status” of poll preparations.
George Garcia, a lawyer for Poe and Escudero, made the request in a letter sent to the Comelec last Thursday.
Garcia said it was “quite alarming” that with barely three months to go before the polls, the Comelec’s Technical Evaluation Committee has yet to issue a certification report on the results of the testing of the vote-counting machines as required under the Election Modernization Act. With Leila B. Salaverria
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