Missing names, faulty machines top complaints
MISSING names on the voters’ lists and technical glitches affecting vote counting machines (VCM) resulting in long lines were the most common complaints at polling precincts across Metro Manila on Election Day.
Walter Sim, a 56-year-old resident of Barangay Valenzuela, Makati City, said not finding his name was “just frustrating. I wasn’t able to cast my vote while all of my family members were on the list.” This was his first time to experience this, said Sim, who was able to vote in the 2013 elections.
At Pembo Elementary School, the same complaint was aired by about 100 voters, who were referred by school officials to the local Comelec office.
Voters also complained of faulty VCMs, saying some could not be turned on while others rejected ballots or took a long time to read them or print the receipts. Some of the malfunctioning machines were reported at Francisco Benitez Elementary School, San Isidro High School, Rafael Palma Elementary School and Rizal Elementary School.
Due to the technical glitches, the lines at the affected precincts grew longer to the dismay of many, including the elderly. “The line is still very long even for senior citizens. They also did not provide us with seats while waiting,” the 64-year-old Mang Pido of Barangay Valenzuela told the Inquirer.
In the northern cities making up the Camanava area, at least 19 of the 341 VCMs in the clustered precincts malfunctioned in Caloocan City, 5 out of the 173 machines in Navotas City; and 3 in Valenzuela City.
On Monday morning, Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, who runs under the Liberal Party, called the attention of poll watchers and the principal of Caloocan City High School after at least 20 senior citizens have been stalled for more than 2.5 hours waiting for their ballots.
In Caloocan City High School, where the precincts were set up on the third and fourth floors, senior citizens and persons with disabilities were provided assistance in the form of the Emergency Accessible Polling Precinct (EAPP), which was implemented for the first time by the Comelec.
But the system apparently did not go smoothly as the Inquirer encountered many senior citizens and PWDs who said they still needed to wait very long to vote. With John Cyril Yee, Angelica Cruz, Jessica Sy, Beatriz Lumang and JC Alvanino
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