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Malfunctioning VCMs delay voting in Cebu’s biggest barangay

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Voters in Cebu City’s biggest barangay who arrived as early as 6 am to cast their ballot Monday, May 13, were greeted by malfunctioning vote counting machines. 

The problem of the VCMs not receiving the ballots properly caused long lines in the opening hours of election day.

 

Cebu City’s South District Election Officer Marchel Sarno said that Comelec technicians were able to repair the machines and only one needed to be replaced.

“We have enough backup machines in case machines continue to malfunction and our poll staff know the protocol for manual counting if needed,” Sarno told reporters.

One registered voter told Rappler she had lined up at 8 am, but was still standing in the hallway to her clustered precinct at  10 am.

Guadalupe has about 44,000 registered voters and is the biggest voting precinct in this city.

Medical crews were on standby to assist elderly voters and those with health ailments.

Guadalupe is also the precinct where Cebu City reelectionist Mayor Tomas Osmeña is registered, although he had yet voted as of posting time.

Spotted at the precinct though were his sister Minnie Osmeña, ex-mayor and vice mayoral candidate Michael Rama, and former congressman Antonio Cuenco.

Sarno said that while the day started off with glitches, they do not expect voting to be extended beyond the scheduled 6 pm end of polling.

Meanwhile Osmeña's opponent Edgardo Labella, an ex-Ombudsman graft investigator and the candidate endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte, cast his vote in Barangay Mabolo earlier in the morning. – Rappler.com

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.

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