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Monday, March 4, 2024

Comelec eyes manual audit of defective VCMs, SD cards

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A member of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has proposed a random manual audit of the vote-counting machines (VCMs) and secure digital (SD) cards that malfunctioned during the May 9 national and local elections.

COMELEC PRESS BRIEFING. Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Aimee Ferolino and spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco conduct a press briefing at the PICC Forum Tent in Pasay City to tackle post-election issues including complaints about alleged irregularities during the May 9 polls, as well as the projected special elections in some areas in Mindanao to be held on May 24. Avito Dalan

Comelec spokesman John Rex Laudiangco on Saturday said Commissioner Marlon Casquejo was pushing for the conduct of a random audit of the problematic VCMs and SD cards.

“We initiate our own investigations and audits also to check what happened; to get the best practices; how do we improve for the next elections,” Laudiangco said in a press briefing.

The Commission and the Comelec Advisory Committee (CAC) met to discuss the issues encountered by the VCMs during the May 9 Election Day.

“Again, just initially, just a summary of the things discussed with the CAC. The common issues of the VCMs are very minor, scanner that needs cleaning, having to activate the printer, flickering LCD and most of them are paper jams. Paper jams are resolved by cleaning, by repositioning the VCM, by making sure the VCM is properly placed on the receptacle,” Laudiangco said.

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“All the technical issues were resolved through diagnostics and calibration. The calibration to ensure proper reading through the timing marks. The other problems are minor issues, failure to connect the connectors properly, failure to connect batteries, failure to connect the AC plugs. The other issues are procedural. Incorrect procedure to initiate…” he added.

“As to the random technical audit of SD cards, we will have a timeline. We will be able to conduct the audit after the period for filing of election protest since after proclamation under the rules those who will file election protest have 10 days to file their protest,” he said.

“So we have to give way to that 10 days if the courts will be needing the SD cards. In the event we did not receive any potential election protest we will be proceeding with random technical audit of the SD cards,” Laudiangco added.

Meanwhile, the Comelec mulls the conduct of special elections on May 24 in Tubaran, Lanao del Sur which reportedly suffered failure of elections last May 9, Laudiangco said.

He said the situation in Tuburan had been “contained.”

At least 12 barangays in Tubaran reported violence, threats, and intimidation of voters. These barangays were Tangcal, Datumanong, Guiarong, Baguiangun, Wago, Malaganding, Gadongan, Riantaran, Pagalamatan, Mindamunag, Paigoday-Pimbataan, and Metadicop.

“Right now, the situation there is contained. Violence had been quelled and controlled, and all the preparations are being done in order to pursue the special elections,” Laudiangco added.

Aside from Tubaran, the Comelec also declared a failure of elections in some barangays in the municipalities of Binidayan and Butig, Lanao del Sur.

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