800 voting machines found to be defective, says Comelec
At least 800 units of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in the 2010 and 2013 elections have been found to be defective.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Andres Bautista said 8,000 of more than 80,000 machines have been tested. Of these, 800 have nonfunctional parts that need replacements.
“We are working with the Department of Science and Techonology (DOST) to validate this,” the poll official said.
The Comelec expects the diagnostics on the 81,896 PCOS machines to be completed by March.
The Comelec’s information technology department and the DOST have been conducting the diagnostics on the machines to determine if these can still be used in the 2019 polls.
The Comelec en banc approved a budget of P10.6 million for the diagnostics of the voting machines used in the 2010 and 2013 elections.
Once the diagnostics are done, the Comelec will present the results to the Comelec advisory council (CAC), which will include the costs of refurbishing the machines.
Bautista stressed the need to upgrade the PCOS machines, especially their capability to issue voters’ receipts.
The Comelec chair said the election body would consult with stakeholders regarding the best system to use in the 2019 midterm elections.
“Under the law, the CAC will recommend the appropriate technology to use,” he said.
Bautista clarified that the Comelec was not closed to the possibility of using other election systems for the 2019 midterm polls.
“We have to weigh that against other systems, and we’re not closed to using other systems. We want to call a stakeholder forum and consult with people what system is best,” he said.
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