Soccsksargen: Defective VCMs, erroneous ballots mar voting

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – The conduct of the elections in Region 12 has been “generally smooth” despite the reported technical problems with the vote-counting machines in some polling precincts, a Commission on Elections official said.

Lawyer Francisco Pobe, Comelec Region 12 director, said voting is currently ongoing in majority of the 3,438 clustered precincts in 1,158 barangays in the region.

“It’s been generally smooth as of this time. There were usual problems like missing names and voters who had difficulty finding their precincts while a number of precincts encountered technical glitches with the VCMs but they were mostly manageable,” he said in an interview as of 10 a.m. over radio station Brigada here.

For instance, the official said the VCMs in some precincts did not immediately start or power up and there were units that jammed up and failed to read the ballots.

He said a number of precincts in this city and nearby Sarangani province recorded these problems.

In North Cotabato, he said a VCM encountered system errors after scanning or processing 40 ballots.

In Koronadal City, voting was delayed in five polling precincts due to “scanner errors” with the VCMs.

But Lawyer April Mitchor, Koronadal City election officer, said they proceeded with the voting in the affected precincts after the voters agreed that the ballots would just be scanned in batches once the replacement VCMs would arrive.

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