Minor glitch in VCM final testing

THE Board of Election inspectors (BEI) noted a minor glitch of the vote counting machines (VCM) during the final testing and sealing at Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School (DRANHS) on Thursday.

Eden Cabalinan, chairperson of the BEIs, confirmed that VCM of Cluster No. 419, which covers Precinct Nos. 1253A, 1253B, 1254B, 1255A, 1256A, had problems on the printing of the receipts as the thermal paper jammed, hence, it did not print successfully.

"Nagkaproblema mi kay niungot ang thermal paper so amo sang gi-troubleshooting (We had a problem because the thermal paper jammed so we had to troubleshoot). We will just turn the power off and on so if it is back to normal, the portion which was not printed will be printed back by the VCM," Cabalinan said.

She said that the final testing was held to be ready for Monday's (May 9) election.

"We do not know if same thing can happen that is why as early as now we check so that just in case it will happen, we know how to troubleshoot," Cabalinan said.

She also said that it was not a major problem.

She added that they are very cautious in using the VCM and they do not just operate it carelessly.

"We are very apprehensive, and we do not just touch anything because it is computerized and it is very delicate so we really discuss our next move," Cabalinan said.

Cabalinan also said that they always refer to the opinion of IT experts from Smartmatic to ensure that the job will be done well.

She said that as of Thursday they tested 10 ballots, just to test if the VCM works.

She also said that after the testing the VCM will be sealed and will be stored at the AVR of the school.

Meanwhile, in a separate VCM testing at Cluster No. 416 which will also include the precinct where Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will vote, no irregularities of VCM printing was noted.

Volunteers from Ateneo de Davao University also tried to purposely shade twice for one position, yet, the paper indicated "overvote".

It was also observed that shading more than eight candidates for the city council seat, the whole category will be declared as overvote and will not be counted.

An "undervote" will also appear when the voter did not shade a particular position.

Meanwhile, Cabalinan added the problems encountered during the testing of the VCMs will be noted in the minutes that they will pass to the Commission on Elections.
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