Who’s to blame for mock poll errors?

The Comelec deals with fears about the accuracy of PCOS machines following discrepancies with the manual audit after the mock elections

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) deals with fears about the accuracy of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines following the discrepancies with the manual audit after the mock elections.

Paterno Esmaquel reports. 

(Watch Rappler’s video report below.)

(The script of the video report follows.)

The manual audit, after the mock elections, raises doubts over the accuracy of PCOS machines.

Discrepancies between the PCOS count and the manual audit exceed the accepted limit. A committee finds 15 discrepancies while the Comelec allows only 10.

But a report by the audit committee says it’s not the fault of the PCOS. It blames the errors on human factors.

In a report noted by the Comelec on April 19, the random manual audit committee cites factors such as the auditors’ lack of experience and failure to follow instructions.

The report also blames what it calls “conditions that were far from conducive.” These include humid weather, and lack of food and water for the auditors.

The committee says it did another audit of the mock election results. The new audit shows zero discrepancies between the PCOS and manual counts.

An election citizens’ arm, the Namfrel, earlier criticizes the Comelec over the auditing mismatch during the mock elections.

In a letter to Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes, Namfrel says the “malfunctioning of PCOS machines will pose problems” on election day.

But Brillantes says the Comelec has acted on the errors during the mock polls. Besides, he says it is impossible for PCOS and manual counts to always tally.

SIXTO BRILLANTES, COMELEC CHAIRMAN: Talagang dapat magkaiba, dahil human appreciation ‘yung isa eh. Pero the discrepancy should not be major. Meaning, magkakamali ka diyan, isa, dalawa – ‘yung malapit sa threshold.

(It should really be different because one has human appreciation. But the discrepancy should not be major – meaning, you will make mistakes, but just around one or two.)

This year, the Comelec assigns over 1,000 auditors to conduct a manual audit in all 233 legislative districts. 

The audit on May 13 will test the accuracy of PCOS machines, this time on a national scale.

Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler, Manila.

– Rappler.com


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