ELECTIONS in Cagayan de Oro City didn’t go without trouble shooting problems as vote counting machines (VCM) encountered technical glitches, the independent poll watchdogs reported in a press conference Monday afternoon, May 9.
Some of the common problems in most of the polling precincts were non-functioning machine, paper jam, non-issuance of voters’ receipts, and incidences of alleged vote-switching.
In Bugo Central School, a voter complained when his receipt showed a blank space on his choice for a certain candidate.
In Macanhan Elementary School, a VCM malfunctioned at 7 a.m. before the electorate can even cast their vote.
Also, the VCM at a precinct in Lapasan Elementary School failed to issue receipts.
In Barangay Macabalan, two VCMs did not function for almost five hours prompting the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) to conduct manual voting.
“Gipa-vote sa namo sila but then amo lang man pud ni i-feed unya sa machine pag muabot na ang replacement (We let them vote, but we will feed their ballots when the machine replacement arrives),” BEI Fred Sabuero said.
The glitches were consolidated by poll watchdogs, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and Kontra-Daya 2016 which they presented to the media at noontime on Monday, May 9.
PPCRV social coordinator Fr. Saturnino Lumba said they were dismayed with the voting delays because of the machine glitches adding that these problems did not come up during the final testing and sealing (FTS) of the VCMs last week.
“Nadismaya gyud mi kay sa FTS okay man. Wala may mga ingani nga problema. Pero karon, atong nahibal-an nga ang mga machines diay dili ready nga ila man gipasalig nga okay gyud ang dagan. But we also recognize that these things are beyond our control (We are dismayed since the machines were okay during the FTS. We didn’t encounter these problems. But right now, we’ve seen the machines aren’t ready contrary to the assurance that they good to go),” Lumba said.
Lumba said they will consolidate the reports received and submit them to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“Pangandoy man gyud unta nato ang hassle-free elections, pero technical man ang problem, dili gyud siya kapugngan (It has been our hope that this is going to be hassle-free elections, but the problem is technical and it is beyond our control),” Lumba added.
But PPCRV coordinator Carl Cababaran is confident the votes are still secured, saying: “They are still confident the elections still suit to the Clean, Honest, Accurate, Meaningful, and Peaceful (Champ) campaign would still prevail.
“We are still kampante, dili pa man gyud grabe kadako ang daot sa machines, gamay pa ang VCMs nga nadaut pa sad. Although we are receiving complaints pero these are still concentrated sa usa ka precinct, dili gyud siya nag-represent sa tanan (We are still confident that the machines aren’t really in bad shape. There are only a few machines that conked out. Although we are receiving complaints that these problems are concentrated in one precinct and doesn’t represent all the other machines),” Cababaran said.
City Comelec Officer Joel Dexter Nagtalon said VCMs that malfunctioned were being repaired since the city only had 10 contingency machines.
“Gi-repair pa gyud namo ang uban VCMs mao ning madugay paghatod sa mga precincts (We had the VCMs repaired that’s why it took time before they were delivered to the precincts),” Lawyer Nagtalon added.