Groups not satisfied with PCOS test results-A A +A
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
SEVERAL groups were still in doubt of the accuracy of the counting machines that will be used in the 2013 midterm elections despite the good results of the mock elections held for the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms.
Maricor Akol of Philippine National IT Standards Foundation Inc. and Evita Jimenez of Center for People Empowerment in Governance (Cenpeg) said Smartmatic Corporation merely held a marketing demo of their precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines instead of a simulated election.
"We are not for a marketing demo. We want a simulated election wherein for instance, the voting area is a public school classroom then the voting machine should be tested there, not here in the air-conditioned room of Congress," Akol said.
Jimenez, for her part, said that Cenpeg representatives were against the mock elections because IT experts from their team were not allowed to participate.
"You cannot blame Smartmatic and neither this committee," an irked House committee chairman Elpidio Barzaga said.
"You should have objected from the start if you do not want a manual audit…I don't want to have an impression to the public that the PCOS is not reliable," he added.
The resource persons kept interrupting Smartmatic representative Marlon Garcia during the mock elections, prompting Barzaga to ask the Committee Secretariat to call the chamber's Sergeant-At-Arms.
After Garcia's presentation of the mock poll results, Barzaga directed the resource persons to send their written comments to Smartmatic. Smartmatic, meanwhile, was directed to answer their concerns in five days before another committee hearing is called.
Out of the 1,000 ballots fed to the PCOS machine in the mock elections conducted last July, 958 were read and 42 were rejected.
Garcia said the count of the PCOS machines are more accurate compared to the manual audit. The manual audit results were 99.2 percent for the position of President, 97.97 for Senator, 99.74 for party-list and 98.03 for the House of Representatives.
"Human interpretation is unreliable. Machines, compared to humans, are objective," Garcia said.
The Commission on Elections has purchased 80,000 PCOS machines from Smartmatic for the 2013 midterm polls. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)