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Comelec transparency server stops sending results to media, watchdogs

Gemma B. Mendoza, Michael Bueza

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Comelec transparency server stops sending results to media, watchdogs
(UPDATED) Media groups, watchdogs, and political parties with access to the transparency server are originally expected to receive unofficial vote counts at intervals of around 10-15 minutes

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED)  – Media groups, watchdogs, and political parties encountered a problem with the receiving of unofficial election results from the transparency server of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday, May 13.

As of 12:50 am on Tuesday, May 14, these groups – including Rappler – were only able to receive one file consisting of votes from 359 precincts for publication in their respective websites.

The file contained a timestamp of around 6:15 pm of May 13.

Since then, the groups weren’t able to get succeeding files, which were originally expected to be sent to laptops connected to the Transparency and Media servers at intervals of around 10-15 minutes.

Comelec formally briefed the concerned groups regarding the situation shortly before 9 pm.

Technical problems


Director Teopisto Elnas Jr, in charge of the transparency server room at Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila, explained the computer service that generates the files for the groups who were accredited to access the transparency server room encountered technical problems and did not function properly.

However, Elnas demonstrated to representatives of media, watchdog groups, and political parties that the transparency server was still receiving vote counts from vote-counting machines nationwide as of 9:20 pm.

Comelec officials at the transparency server in Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila escalated the issue to the Comelec en banc. Elnas announced a little past 10:30 pm they were granted the authority to access the transparency server and resolve the problem.

As of posting time, a member of Smartmatic’s personnel was debugging the issue. Representatives of the media, watchdog groups, and political parties were observing this process.

The transparency and central servers contain partial, unofficial vote counts only. The official results will be based on certificates of canvass (COC) transmitted from the provincial and municipal levels. (READ: How does the PH automated election system work?)

The national canvassing center at PICC in Pasay City will then receive these COCs, which will be used to proclaim winning senators and party lists. 

At least 15 clustered precincts, which consists of 359 clustered precincts, were the first to transmit ERs at exactly 6:05 pm.

Comelec is targeting 100% poll data transmission this year.

Track partial and unofficial results as they come in on Rappler’s #PHVote results page–


Follow Rappler’s full coverage of the 2019 Philippine elections here.
Bookmark this Rappler page for real-time election results. 

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Gemma B. Mendoza

Gemma Mendoza leads Rappler’s multi-pronged efforts to address disinformation in digital media, harnessing big data research, fact-checking, and community workshops. As one of Rappler's pioneers who launched its Facebook page Move.PH in 2011, Gemma initiated strategic projects that connect journalism and data with citizen action, particularly in relation to elections, disasters, and other social concerns.
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Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.