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Poll audit set in Ampatuan, 233 areas

Dean Lozarie
(UPDATED) During the manual audit, auditors will count votes manually and compare these with the PCOS tally

File photo by Rappler/John Javellana

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – An independent committee has chosen Ampatuan town, the site of one of the world’s bloodiest election-related incidents, as one of the areas for an audit designed to gauge the accuracy of the midterm elections.

The Random Manual Audit (RMA) Committee on Friday, May 10, chose Ampatuan among 234 cities and municipalities for the RMA required by law. The committee chose these areas at random.

During the RMA, auditors will manually count the votes and compare these with the tally of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines. 

(See the full list below.)

Where Comelec will audit votes

In the mock elections last February 2, the RMA showed discrepancies beyond the limit set by the law. The audit committee, however, downplayed the problem, attributing the mismatch to human error. (Read: PCOS cleared over counting mismatch.)

One city or municipality for each congressional district was chosen as the first step of the random selection process. 

Far cry from 2010

The Comelec will complete this process on Sunday, May 12, by choosing one precinct from each city and municipality to receive the RMA.

The Automated Elections System (AES) Law requires that one clustered precinct for each congressional district undergo an audit on election day. This is expected to measure the accuracy and credibility of Monday’s elections.

The cities were selected at random using a computer program developed by the Comelec’s RMA Committee.

This is a far cry from the 2010 polls, when the cities were chosen manually with a tambiolo – a process that took 8 hours, according to Carmelita Ericta, administrator of the National Statistics Office (NSO) and a member of the RMAC.

Another set of 234 cities and municipalities was chosen to act as a contingency set should any of the RMAs in the first set of cities fail. – Rappler.com

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