The most common problems reported are PCOS machine shutdowns and jams, rejected ballots, back-up memory loss and printer malfunctions.
By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA — Malfunctioning PCOS machines have stalled voting and caused long queues across Metro Manila, electoral fraud watchdog Kontra Daya reported.
Reports of PCOS technical malfunctions from Kontra Daya’s volunteers on the ground have poured in since voting precincts opened this morning. The most common problems reported are PCOS machine shutdowns and jams, rejected ballots, back-up memory loss and printer malfunctions, Kontra Daya reported.
The fraud watchdog warned that these technical malfunctions could disenfranchise close to thousands of voters if not immediately resolved.
As of 10:30 a.m., PCOS machine failures or malfunctions have been reported in the following precincts:
-Amparo Elementary School in Barangay 179, Caloocan City, affecting cluster precinct No. 419. The shutdown was triggered by a paper jam.
-San Isidro High School, Makati City. Poll monitors report that no technician has arrived as of now.
-San Jose Elementary School in Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati. Poll monitors report that the technical problem was already resolved.
-Commonwealth Elementary School where breakdowns of PCOS machines are resolved but have caused long queues. In three cases, teachers use long sticks to push collected ballots and prevent jamming.
More cases of PCOS machine malfunctions resulting in rejected ballots and stalling of voting operations have been reported in the following areas:
-Ramon Magsaysay High School in Manila, affecting precinct nos. 2153A , 2154A , 2154 B and 2155 A B C in Barangay 455
-Star Elementary School, Barangay 176, District 1, Caloocan, affecting precinct No. 324, cluster precinct 1197
-Napico Elementary School, Barangay Manggahan, affecting operatations in precinct 221
-Pasig Elementary School, affecting clustered precinct 160 and 92
Rizal High School, Pasig City – PCOS machine refuses to take in ballots (cluster precinct 51)
-Barangka Elementary School, Barangay Barangka, Marikina City – PCOS does not read ballot
-Rizal High School, Barangay Caniogan, Pasig City, affecting clustered precinct 51
-Bagbag Elementary School, District V, Quezon City, affecting clustered precinct 1068
-Three non-functioning PCOS machines in Barangay Pinyahan, Quezon City affecting among others Precinct 5498-A in Flora Ylagan High School Manila’s precinct No. 3514-B
-Central Elementary School, Barangay San Dionisio, Parañaque Corazon Aquino Elementary School, Batasan road, QC
The said PCOS machine malfunctions and long lines have compelled some voters to go home before finishing the voting process. Other voters whose ballots were rejected had to input their ballots into the machine for a second time.
Meanwhile, back-up memory problems were reported by Kontra Daya volunteers in San Roque Elemenrary School in Marikina City (precinct No. 13). COMELEC technicians were reportedly unable to resolve the problem immediately, compelling the BEI to collect voters’ ballots and use the PCOS machine even without back-up memory restored.