Defective machine at Grace Poe's precinct bogs down voting

MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – The vote-counting machine (VCM) at the precinct of reelectionist Senator Grace Poe experienced technical glitches 3 hours after the polls opened on Monday, May 13, delaying the process for voters there.

Poe arrived at Sta Lucia Elementary School in San Juan City around 9:30 am but she could not cast her vote right away because of the technical problem.  (READ: Election 2019 technical issues: Paper jams, malfunctioning machines)

According to the teachers at Poe's polling precinct, the machine refused to accept ballots. They attributed the glitch to the pen used to shade the ballots.

The voting machine at the precinct at Sta Lucia Elementary School in San Juan where reelectionist senator Grace Poe is set to vote is experiencing technical difficulties, as the machine fails to read the ballot. — Aika Rey (@reyaika) May 13, 2019

The teachers said they reported the glitch to the Commission on Elections.

They said they were not suspending the elections at the precinct, as the machine was able to read more than 100 votes since the precinct opened at 6 am that day.

Janet Cabelin, chairman of the Board of Election Inspectors in the precinct, said the Comelec had informed them that the machine would be replaced. Voters could either wait for the replacement machine to arrive or leave their ballots with the personnel, who would then enter their ballots into the machine.

The new machine arrived about an hour later.  Poe returned at 11:30 am, and completed the process by noontime.

 Former vice president Jejomar Binay was not able to cast his vote on Monday morning as well, as the voting machine at his precinct did not read his ballot. –

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It will go live as soon as precincts close at 6 pm Monday, May 13.

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.