PCOS more accurate in 2013, audit shows

Paterno Esmaquel II
The ballot-counting machines, however, still fail to meet the mandated accuracy rate

MANILA, Philippines – Ballot-counting machines tallied votes more accurately in 2013, an independent committee announced Friday, June 28, as it released the results of its random manual audit (RMA) of the May 13 elections.

The RMA showed a 99.975% accuracy rate for precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, the RMA committee said. In 2010, the first automated elections, PCOS machines registered 99.6% accuracy in the RMA.

The PCOS machines, however, still failed to meet the mandated accuracy rate. The law requires a 99.995% accuracy rate for the PCOS.

“The elections of 2013 must, at least, be categorized as successful. This is one of the portions that validate the success of the 2013 elections,” Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr said in a press conference.

The RMA committee audited votes for senator, congressman, and mayor, and came up with the following PCOS accuracy rates:

  • Senator – 99.978%

  • House of Representatives – 99.972%

  • Mayor – 99.975%

The RMA committee, which is chaired by former Ambassador Henrietta “Tita” de Villa, audited 234 precincts to check the accuracy of PCOS machines. For this, the committee chose one precinct per legislative district.

Required by the Automated Election Law, the RMA is done by manually counting the votes and comparing these with the PCOS tally.

The Comelec allows a certain number of discrepancies to still call the PCOS count accurate. Comelec Resolution No. 9595, which covers the RMA, allows a margin of 10 votes per candidate per position “in the event of discrepancy.” – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.