Bacolod Comelec holds PCOS demo

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Saturday, April 6, 2013


ACTING Bacolod election officer Salud Milagros Villanueva spearheaded a demonstration of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines and voters' education at SM City Bacolod on Friday.

She said they have just finished the PCOS training of technicians and election supervisors and practically, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Bacolod and Negros is ready to conduct the elections once the machines have been delivered.

She said there are 311 clustered precincts in Bacolod City for a voting population of about 259,000. They also have 933 Boars of Election Inspectors.

Villanueva said this time, they will have to key in the time and date in the PCOS machines starting 7 a.m. of May 13.

Each voter will be issued only one ballot so they have to make sure it will not be crumpled or stained. Only persons with disability and those who are illiterate will be required to have their thumb marks taken.

Villanueva said the PCOS machine will not be able to read a ballot if the total number of candidates written down by a voter exceeds (over-voting) the required number for certain positions like that of senators, councilors or party-lists.

It will read a ballot when the exact number of candidates is written or if the number falls below the required number (under-voting).

In case of sudden brownouts, the PCOS machine has a standby battery that can last up to 12 hours.

Dorie Cabilso, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) member, said the voter's education conducted by the Comelec on Friday was very hands-on and helpful.

She said that as the citizen's arm of the Comelec, the PPCRV continues to conduct voter's education up to the purok level.

Based on their experience during the 2010 elections, she said there are some voters who are concerned that they might spoil the ballot so they try to tell them that the procedure of the PCOS machine is easy and simple similar to that of the ATM machine.

Cabilso said they should be taught the right way of shading the oval in the ballot and to bring a handkerchief to keep their hands dry since the ballot is sensitive. She is thankful that the Comelec eliminated the required thumb marking.

She said the PPCRV will do official parallel count so they continue to gather volunteers to help them secure the 4th copy of the ballots that will be compared to the ones that will be transmitted. (CNC)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 06, 2013.

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