Few glitches during mock elections: Brillantes

Posted at 02/02/13 12:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes on Saturday said he believes the mock elections generally had no problems despite the non-acceptance of some ballots at a Quezon City Precinct.

Brillantes went around the two largest voting centers during the mock elections, the UP Integrated School in Katipunan and the Ponciano Bernardo High School in Bagong Crame in Quezon City which have 882 and 757 registered voters, respectively.

Brillantes' first stop was at UP IS, arriving at 6:30 a.m. to find the voting center still closed. Set up of the center, which was supposed to begin at 6:00 a.m., was pushed back to 7:00 a.m. after the custodian of the key to the classroom wasn't immediately available.

During the set up of the voting center, the PCOS machine had to be initialized twice after a ballot was mistakenly fed prematurely and the board of election inspector had a problem entering her pin.

Voting began after 8:00 a.m., and after accepting the first ballot, the next ballots were not accepted by the machine.

At one point, Brillantes was even caught on camera looking at the machine when the ballot was rejected, only for the ballot to be accepted after he turned away.

Brillantes speculated it is because the PCOS needed to be warmed up after long periods of rest.

Everything went well after the PCOS machine was replaced in accordance with the contingency plan.

The Comelec said it believes what happened at UP IS was an isolated case.

"We haven't received adverse reports from the provinces. Mas maganda raw. Sa UP lang nagkaprublema," Brillantes said.

A random manual audit will be conducted tonight at the UP IS polling precinct.

The Comelec servers for the receiving of transmissions from areas where polling ends midday have been set up at Cabuyao in Laguna.

After UP IS, Brillantes went to P. Bernardo where the mock voting had no problems.

Earlier today, Brillantes said he hopes all possible emergencies be identified during the mock polls so they can be remedied in time for election day. He said another mock election may be called depending on their review.

One final testing of the PCOS machines may be due before final deployment closer to the elections.

Elsewhere in the country, about 50 voters each were expected in the other participating voting centers.