PHVOTE 2013

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PPCRV blames 'scripting error' for bloated initial count

Rappler.com
Posted on 05/13/2013 9:59 PM  | Updated 05/14/2013 4:11 AM

CITIZENS' ARM. A file photo of PPCRV volunteers. Photo by Francis Robert Bonifacio/PPCRVCITIZENS' ARM. A file photo of PPCRV volunteers. Photo by Francis Robert Bonifacio/PPCRV

MANILA, Philipines - The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) on Monday night, May 13, had to take back its unofficial consolidated tally of election results.

Ana de Villa Singson, PPCRV director, explained that the problem was caused by a scripting error. The Comelec server has been sending files to PPCRV by increment, with the latest batches of files containing previous data from old batches. De Villa explained that instead of deleting the earlier files, their system added them to the new files, hence giving them a larger tally.

The PPCRV's unusually high tally half an hour after the closing of the polls spooked some media organizations which used their data. The Rappler Mirror Server, which gets real-time results from the Comelec's Transparency Server, initially showed a lower tally of votes. (Read about the Rappler Mirror Server here)

De Villa apologized for the error. She said the PPCRV has already aligned its tally with Comelec's.

On its Twitter account, @PPCRV_National said: “With apologies to the public, the results do not match precinct votes. Smartmatic made to explain the gap. Until then PPCRV will no longer be releasing data/unofficial results until Smartmatic explains gap.” The PPCRV said that the data sent to its server was “correct” but there was a “formatting problem.” The Comelec's citizen's arm tweeted further: “Ongoing consistency check before resuming release of unofficial votes.”

Smartmatic's Marlon Garcia said that the PPCRV did not properly format the data it was receiving from the Transparency Server.

The PPCRV's error came shortly after the Comelec suspended the canvassing of national results at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). The poll body earlier covened the National Board of Canvassers after the polls closed at 7pm. Then it changed its mind and said it will convene at 10 am Tuesday, May 14.

The decision -- followed by PPCRV's error -- agitated the online community that was closely waiting for the results.

The Comelec held a closed-door meeting Monday night, incidentally when the PPCRV mishap took place.

In a hastily organized press conference, Comelec commissioner Grace Padaca said the poll body was informed about the PPCRV mishap, but declined to give details.

Padaca, however, disclosed the Comelec central server has received at least 44.2% of results from precincts. Did the Comelec hold the press conference to quell apprehensions over what happened at PPCRV? Padaca declined to answer. - Rappler.com


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