Tags: smartmatic

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.

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.

Final testing and sealing in Precinct 246 in Cembo Elementary School on Monday was delayed when the PCOS machine could not print a complete Initialization report. The printout generated did not show the list of candidates and the vote counter that should show zero votes. The Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) are unable to troubleshoot the problem on their own and called for the assistance of the support technician. After more or less an hour, final testing and sealing proceeded with the assistance of the Smartmatic TIM technician.

After three SIM cards, two modems, and countless earlier attempts, a Smartmatic technician tries to get a satellite signal after failing to transmit test results. When he did get a signal, he tells person on the phone: “Pare,di ko naman pwedeng hawakan ito nang ganito hanggang mamaya.” He gets help though from a cameraman who lends him a tripod. This is just one of the scenes in Friday’s Comelec Smartmatic field test in Agojo Elementary School in Pateros for the machines that are to be used in the elections in May. Photo by Renayes Reyes Jr.