THE consortium Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM) will be purchasing some 76,000 portable ultraviolet (UV) readers after the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines rejected 20 percent of the printed ballots for the May 10 elections.

Ramon Casiple, Comelec Advisory Council (CAC) member on poll automation, said the automatic verification system of PCOS that determines if ballots printed were authentic or not failed during the laboratory testing held last January.

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He explained that the UV ink, security markings of Smartmatic-TIM, lacks the needed “density,” which is the reason it is being rejected by the machines.

“During the lab test performed last January, at least 20 percent of the ballots hindi binabasa ng PCOS,” Casiple said.

He added that they decided to turn off all the readers of PCOS and instead use portable UV readers or the device use to scan counterfeit money.

“To them it’s more viable to buy this portable UV reader than to reconfigure the machine because you have to go to the whole process again, which includes getting the source code from the Bangko Sentral,” he noted.

Casiple said that it’s the fault of the Smartmatic since they are supposed to ensure that the UV ink they placed in the ballots as among the different security features should be readable.

The Smartmatic UV ink is a bar code type placed on all the official ballots being printed at the National Printing Office (NPO). It is one of the several security markings to be found in the more than 50.7 million ballots.

The ballots, said Casiple, from the paper and size alone is unique making it hard to imitate. It also contains the poll body’s own UV ink, a bar code, the unique precinct-based numbers on the ballot and the Comelec markings. (FP/Sunnex)