Election Marred with Malfunctioning Machines

Majority of the fifty million registered voters trooped to Philippine polling precincts as early as six in the morning Monday in the nationwide exercise of electing a new set of government officials from the president down to municipal town councils.

As the hours dragged on, long queues of voters waiting for their turns brought about by problematic precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines and the tedious and slow verification of voter’s identity, among other reasons, have prompted the Commission on Elections to extend voting hours from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. as announced by the commission chairman Jose Melo in a press conference.

This election marked the first time a computerized voting system was being used even as the system provider Smartmatic-TIM has reported that already there were 328 malfunctioning PCOS machines posted in different polling centers nationwide.

Smartmatic Asia president Cesar Flores said that of these defective PCOS machines, 239 have already been replaced. One malfunctioning machine was assigned in the precinct where Liberal Party standard-bearer Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III voted in Tarlac.

Flores said that problems with the PCOS machines were mostly “hardware,” such as power failure, printer failure, and the compact flash cards.

As 7:00 o’clock P.M. chimed many voters were not able to vote, disenfranchised and had to simply go home in full disgust. At this, one Comelec commissioner opined that it was a good election with about 75% voter turnout or were able to vote.

Very commendable and worth the praise are the countless youths and volunteers who closed ranks in guarding the sanctity of the vote.

It is of substantial interest to us that bad practice remain for a long time when it is already within the system. In many areas, there were rampant vote buying that ranged from P500 to P5,000 per voter. Who decides how much money to hand to a voter is anybody’s good guess. Violence also marred the conduct of election elsewhere in the country.

As we greet the new morn today, can we honestly say that we were able to select the best candidate that will serve the best interest of the people or will he be surservient to the few and powerful who financed the win and at the same time protect his turf? It remains to be seen and felt.

This is my post for This is My World. Many thanks to Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia for hosting this wonderful meme: My World – Tuesday.


11 thoughts on “Election Marred with Malfunctioning Machines”

  1. I think we are all feeling this way about elections and hoping for the very best for our countries and their people. Great post for the day. I hold good thoughts for you and your country. Hope your week goes well!


  2. I would hoped that everyone who goes to the precinct could vote. But it has always been that way with Philippine elections. I can’t wait for the time when the elections are computerized.

  3. This May 2010 electoral process is the first partial computerized so far, at least on the end part, that which involves the counting of votes using a scanning machine that converts data read from manual ballots into useful data base. Quicker count, though, in contrast to previous elections when results can be had only after weeks of manual count and waiting.

    – Japa

  4. while there are still tons of improvements to be had in our election..it’s already a big step in having the automated voting. I’m hopeful that the voters were able to vote for the right leaders and am hopeful that the next elections will have marked improvement in the process.

  5. Hello Japa. Somehow I’m happy with the new automated counting machine.
    I waited in line too.

    You blog looks different, you transferred in word press?


  6. Although it took me 1-1/2 hours to be able to cast my vote, it was done in a very orderly manner. I think that we might be a bit too harsh to judge the new automated system as in any automation, there will always be a % that would malfunction etc. As you mentioned, it greatly improved the count.

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