Election dilemma-A A +A
Friday, February 8, 2013
THE election in May is generating multifaceted issues for stake holders.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec), for example, may need about 1,000 technicians to operate the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines throughout the province. Comelec will put “PCOS macines in each clustered precinct.”
There are 1,180 voting centers in Cebu. Each voting center will have five or more clustered precincts with PCOS. Election officials plan to assign at least two PCOS machine technicians to each clustered voting center.
Comelec-Cebu is preparing a list of technicians to be deployed in the province. Priority is given to personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd) for recruitment and training. If there are not enough DepEd personnel, Comelec will hire information technology specialists from the private sector.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court (SC) has ruled “that the digitized representations of the ballots cast through the PCOS machine are legal and could be used in determining the number of votes in election-related cases. As for Comelec, it has removed the P10,000 fee on individuals or groups that will file disqualification cases overspending candidates in the May 13 mid-term polls.
On the other hand, the minority bloc in the House of Representatives suggested to the Comelec that should it fail to “address the glitches encountered during the recent mock elections, it should revert back to manual counting of votes. Glitches such as rejection of test ballots and failure in transmitting election results were encountered in several precincts.
Earlier, the poll body had said that about 81,000 machines will be used for 76,000 precincts and that each technical expert will be prepared to replace faulty PCOS machines in just two hours on election day. This is an assurance from the Comelec to allay fears that the PCOS machines would fail. And many questions have been asked about how effective results of the count using PCOS machines are.
In any case, there were doubts expressed about the results of the mock polls. Some lawmakers voiced the need to hold another mock elections, and this should be done “earlier to resolve whatever problems” that would still occur.
The doubting members of the House said that the Comelec should make sure all the problems will be resolved to assure the country’s only second automated elections will get positive and convincing results.
The problems in the upcoming mid-term polls are truly a genuine test of our democratic way of life. It is up to us accept the multifaceted election dilemmas, and genuinely try to live with them.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 08, 2013.