THE Commission on Elections-Davao Region (Comelec-Davao) reported 55 out of the estimated 4,000 votes counting machines (VCMs) in the entire region have encountered problems amid the conduct of the 2022 national and local elections on Monday, May 9, 2022.

Comelec-Davao assistant regional director Lawyer Gay Enumerables said in a press conference on Wednesday, May 11, that the figure was recorded as of Tuesday, May 10.

Out of the 55, Enumerables said 11 of the VCMs were already irreparable.

One of the machines even overheated, while other minor glitches included paper jams and flickering of the LCD screen. Enumerables said they had already received complaints about the machine errors as early as 6 a.m., the start of the poll.

Prior to election day, around 4,000 VCMs in Davao Region were subjected to simultaneous final testing and sealing on May 5.

Some polling centers, based on the monitoring of SunStar Davao, had encountered VCM glitches, resulting in long lines of voters.

Enumerables said the national Comelec was already anticipating some of the VCM problems, which prompted them to establish a repair hub in all provinces in the city.

Unlike what happened in previous elections, defective VCMs and SD cards will no longer be shipped to Manila for repair, as there are already identified repair hubs in the region.

Meanwhile, Enumerables said that despite the problems encountered in the VCMs, this did not affect the fast transmission of votes to the canvassing centers.

"Naa tay sira, mga machines lang kasagaran naa sira, dili mga (We received reports of defective machines mostly, but not so much the) SD card [compact flash (CF) card]," she said.

Contingency machines were also deployed to augment VCM machines that would malfunction, Enumerables said.

Davao City First Congressional District candidate Maria Victoria "Mags" Maglana personally witnessed some election-related issues that occurred during the polls. She particularly raised errors in various VCMs in two clustered precincts her team visited. Voters were advised to leave their accomplished ballots instead.

She also said a voter’s ballot was rejected by the VCM several times through no fault of hers. (RGL)