Counting machine validates vote in 44 seconds, amaze Comelec officials


Counting machine validates vote in 44 seconds, amaze Comelec officials.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday launched in Laoag City the new vote counting machine (VCM) which can validate votes in 44 seconds.

Laoag City Election Officer Atty. Julius Harvey P. Balbas said that the machine is an updated model of the Precinct Council Scan (PCOS) machines used during the 2010 and 2013 elections.

“We have more powerful machines for this May 2016 polls which are faster and easier to operate. Per voter, after shading the ballots, votes cast are validated in less than 44 seconds,” Balbas said.

He said based on their seminar for election officers held in Manila, the machine aside from being user friendly, is easy to operate even for a senior citizen, has an energy (standby power) reserve of 16-20 hours.

To test the efficiency of the machine, members of the media in Ilocos Norte tried the machine during the launching program at the PIA-KBP Ilocandia Forum through an on-the-spot sample voting.

Meanwhile, Provincial Election Supervisor Marino V. Salas said that a total of 90,000 VCMs have been delivered to the Comelec’s hub in Laguna, of which 83,000 were issued to the provinces.

The Comelec has ordered 120,000 voting equipment from Smartmatic.

Among the features of the VCM include a secured source code that makes sure the votes are interpreted correctly, an ultraviolet lamp that makes sure no fake ballot is inserted into the machine and digital signatures of the Board of Election Inspectors, who will certify the poll returns.

Comelec guarantees that the VCM has a voter verification paper audit trail (VVPAT) that serves as receipt of a person’s votes. It also has a touch screen monitor that reflect the votes on the ballot.

Salas said that the only problem with the machine is its sensitivity to inappropriate shading of the ballots which can cause the machine to disregard the vote.

So now, if there are 700 voters in one precinct, it will take 30,800 seconds to count all the ballots. Divide 30,800 by 60 gives us the minutes equivalent which is 513.33; and dividing it with 60, will be 8.555 which is the total number of hours it will take to count the votes. And this is devoid of the glitch and other factors that may arise.

May the machine spew out the correct and accurate count and the will of the people as written on the ballots.


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