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Lente urges Comelec: Hold Smartmatic accountable for poll delays

/ 05:30 PM May 10, 2016
A voter filing in her ballot. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

A voter fills out her ballot on Monday during the Philippines’ national elections. TRISTAN TAMAYO/INQUIRER.net

An election watchdog on Tuesday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to hold Smartmatic accountable for delays in the electoral process due to a breakdown of vote-counting machines (VCM).

Smartmatic is the country’s technology provider for automated elections.

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The Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) claimed incidents of malfunctioning VCMs had affected voters across the country, forcing them to endure long lines on a hot election day.

In some polling centers, voting was extended until  evening due to VCM breakdowns or  late arrival of their replacement.

In the next elections, Comelec should strive to issue its resolutions early to avoid confusion during implementation on the ground, Lente executive director Ona Caritos said.

Belated dissemination of election resolutions on contingency measures, ballot replacement, voting procedures for persons with disabilities and senior citizens led to delay and confusion in the voting process, she said.

Caritos also called on the Comelec to make election violators accountable and end impunity during the conduct of polls.

“Comelec should make sure that election law violators should be prosecuted and punished as impunity is becoming more of a problem in Philippine elections,” Caritos said. RC/rga

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TAGS: Comelec, Elections 2016, Lente, Smartmatic, vote counting machine
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