Tech problems snag San Fernando polls

SOME vote counting machines (VCMs) in different polling places in San Fernando town, Cebu bogged down yesterday morning.

San Fernando Central School, Pitalo Elementary School, San Isidro Elementary School, and South Poblacion Elementary School encountered troubles with their VCMs.

Pitalo Elementary School encountered a technical problem at 7 a.m.

Earha Alicaway, Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) chairperson of the Pitalo Elementary School, said, “The machine at the senior citizens’ polling place jammed, but it’s now okay.”

The attending technician was able to fix the machine.

Some senior citizens in Pitalo said they were disappointed this year because there was only one precinct for them.

Unlike in the past elections, there were two or more, they said.

Four machines in San Fernando Central School experienced a glitch.

Three of them were fixed in just five to 15 minutes, but it took the technician 30 minutes to fix the other one, which is located at the senior citizens’ polling area, said Victoria Bacalso, BEI chairperson of the polling center in San Fernando Elementary School.

Bacalso said the seniors waited for the machines to be fixed because they did not want that their ballots be placed in an ordinary box.

The San Isidro Elementary School also encountered a technical error with the VCM.

However, the voting continued and the voters agreed to place their ballots in a box and left without getting their receipts.

Junimar Mirafuentes, BEI chairman of San Isidro Elementary school, said they already informed Comelec Election Officer Ferdinand Hortelano who reportedly said that he has reported the matter to Manila.

“Actually, there’s a resolution from the Comelec that if ever it will happen, they have another way to continue the voting while the VCM is out of order,” said Mirafuentes when asked why they have decided to continue the voting without the VCM fixed.

He also said that Comelec was informed about the process that have done to resolve the matter.

The process was transparent we’ve told the watchers about it, said Mirafuentes.

The attending technician tried fixing the machine, but failed.

They waited for the head technician and in 45 minutes, the machine worked again.

One machine at the senior citizen precinct of the South Poblacion Elementary School bogged down and the voters waited for the technician to fix it before going on.

Maria Chona Aliviado, school principal of South Poblacion Elementary School and chairman of the BEI, said “The machine stopped or a while. We called the technician who fixed and everything went well.” Vaña Ferre C. Abella, USJ-R Intern

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