COMELEC Cebu City conducts simultaneous testing of VCMs, sealing of ballots
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Commission on Election (COMELEC) Cebu City conducted the final testing of the Vote-Counting Machines (VCMs) and sealing of ballots in the clustered precincts, four days before the elections.
Marilou Paredes, the acting election officer of the city’s South District, said that this is one of the last procedures they conduct as the election draws near.
“So far okay naman ang resulta. Although naay minor problems. Mo roam around ta to check. Naay precincto nga nagkuwang og digital signature, pero na addressed na nato,” said Paredes.
There are 530 VCMs deployed in the South District and 480 VCMs in the North District. By now, these machines are already in the voting centers sealed and secured.
Paredes laments that there are only a few contingency machines that are allocated for Cebu City should any of the VCMs fail.
However, she said that since Cebu City is the region’s central hub, they will not have a problem replacing malfunctioning VCMs and technical support will be close by.
COMELEC has also been given the assurance of power distributors that electricity will be stable during the elections. Should power be cut, each VCM has an independent battery that will allow it to run for 12 hours.
If and when a VCM fails in one clustered precinct and cannot be fixed, the ballots of that clustered precinct will be counted using another VCM from another precinct after their counting is completed.
The printers are also tested thoroughly for the election returns on May 5.
Paredes said there is nothing too concerning so far about the testing and all systems are ready for the Monday polls.
If anything happens, all Comelec staff will be ready to be deployed to any precinct to assist the poll workers. /rcg
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