DAVAO CITY — Voting in Barangay Centro Agdao is going at a snail’s pace. Lines are long and at the rate the automated voting is progressing, observers fear many will not be able to cast their ballots by the time polling centers close. Voters who have agonized waiting in line grudgingly call the PCOS machines “tikas machines”, with pun intended. Workers, who still have to report for work and those who find the long lines and the wait much too daunting, have already left the precincts without casting their votes.
Tags: pcos machine
By MARYA SALAMAT
The snail’s pace in the voting process would create more problems than just the long lines voters have to endure.
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
The May 10 elections have officially began. As expected, the first five hours were far from smooth.
Automation and computerization are supposed to make life easier. It is supposed to speed up processes by minimizing human intervention. After all, machines are more efficient, more precise, and do not tire easily compared to humans. However, this is not the case with the first Philippine Automated Election System.
Bangued, ABRA — In other precincts, people are complaining of the very slow process — from checking the names of the voters to submitting the ballot to the PCOS machine. Some even went home because they cannot handle the extreme heat. At Precinct #7, BEIs manually collected the ballots. The PCOS machine cannot process the ballots due to defective CF card. The BEI said, they are still waiting for the replacement CF cards to arrive from Manila. A voter told Bulatlat in an interview that the glitches might disenfranchise the votes.
Technical glitches which hounded the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in tests that were administered to these are part of a long series of problems that have occurred in the process of holding the first-ever automated elections in the country. By itself, but especially when seen together with the other problems that have occurred earlier, this failure seriously undermines the credibility of the May 10 elections.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Jose Melo must reserve his smile until after the elections. Pagbabago! People’s Movement for Change issued the statement as it called for increased public vigilance despite repeated assurances from poll officials that the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines are now running perfectly and that elections will push through on Monday.
“AES stands for Automated Elections Sabotage,” declared Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan, referring to the resulting technical foul-ups during COMELEC tests of the PCOS machines a few days before elections.
The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) warned that election postponement or election failure will benefit no one but Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The group kicked off protest actions in front of the Comelec today against any “no-election and holdover scenario” that it fears could arise from the problems in poll automation.
Reports on the failure of counting machines and wrong configuration of memory cards point to no other than mayhem on May 10, confirming widespread fears of elections failure to retain Gloria Arroyo in power, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said.
The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) has deployed 41 international observers from 14 countries to observe the Philippines election, which is scheduled for the May 10, 2010. ANFREL believes that the upcoming General Elections could be a new chapter of clean and credible elections for the country and an admirable initiative for the Asian people towards ensuring freedom of elections in the region.