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PCOs conk out in HK elections

Just like in the 2010 elections, glitches again marred the overseas absentee voting in Hong Kong when precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines malfunctioned. Commission on Elections chairman Sixto Brillantes said the voting machines in Hong Kong rejected ballots where two ovals where shaded caused by bleeding pens used to mark the space  corresponding to the name of  a candidate. Comelec inspectors had to clean the voting machines and replaced two machines that conked out, Brillantes said. The shading pen tainted the oval space, thus the machines failed to read  the barcoded ballots, he said. In 2010, Comelec officials blamed the cold climate in Hong Kong for the incident. Our findings: because of the weather, there was something wrong with the marking pen, the one that you use to actually shade the ovals in the automated ballots,” said the poll chief, adding that because of the   weather, the marking pen did not dry up immediately and caused the blotting. During the second day of the May 10, 2010 overseas absentee voting in Hong Kong, some of the PCOS machines malfunctioned. After that (2010 election) incident, officials of Smartmatic International Corp., Comelec’s election partner, said the PCOS machines did not actually malfunction, but it was the ballots that  failed to read  the ballots because of the extreme and varying temperatures in Hong Kong.
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