Ballot, PCOS problems delay voting in some provinces

Posted at 05/10/10 12:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines - At least 462 people lined up in an elementary school in Iloilo province were not able to cast their votes on Monday due to a mix-up in the delivery of ballots.

Voting was suspended at the Central Elementary School in Guimbal, Iloilo after the board of election inspectors (BEIs) found out that the ballots supplied to their precinct were intended for the province of Samar.

Residents said they have already voted for the national positions, but found out later that the names of the candidates for the local positions were not from Guimbal.

The BEIs said they did not bother to inspect the ballots earlier because they were instructed that these should only be opened on Election Day.

Meanwhile, a Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine bogged down in one of the clustered precincts in the Tagbak Elementary School in Jaro district, Iloilo City while residents were casting their votes.

A back-up machine was brought to the area but it did not work as well.

Despite this, voting went on at the said precinct and the BEI resolved to just collect the shaded ballots and place them in boxes. It was not clear, however, how they would count the votes.

At several voting precincts in Misamis Oriental, similar problems were encountered.

Ballots could not be fed into PCOS machines in Bulua Central Elementary School and another precinct in Barangay Consolacion, while security code problems hounded precincts in Butuan.

In Naawan town, meantime, about 10 PCOS machines did not operate forcing the BEIs to conduct manual elections. With reports from Jennifer Garcia, Art Bonjoc, ABS-CBN News