THE “election” was peaceful and orderly, but several glitches were reported prompting Malacañang to call on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to immediately address these technical problems.
The Comelec held mock polls in 20 areas nationwide Saturday to test the vote counting machines that will be used on May 9, when the country elects new leaders.
However, several problems cropped up, including the rejection of ballots by vote counting machines (VCMs).
The glitch, according to the Comelec, may have been caused by a Board of Election Inspector whose signature exceeded the assigned space. Because of the sensitivity of the system, the VCM may have considered it as dirt.
In some areas, some ballots were also rejected because of overshading.
Votes cast on rejected ballots are not counted. Voters whose ballots were rejected are given new ballots because each one has an assigned ID.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista, who personally oversaw the proceedings in some precincts in Metro Manila, said the poll body will investigate the glitches encountered during the simulation of the election process.
Malacañang expressed confidence that the poll body will be able to fix the problems.
“They [Comelec] are independent and they have responsibility over these issues.They said it’s better that we are informed and know about these potential issues kaysa naman wala tayong alam sa mga kaganapan na ito,” Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon 3rd said in a radio interview.
“Kaya nag-jo-join tayo sa mga nananawagan na basta lang maging malinaw at ipaliwanag sa taumbayan lahat ng mga isyu na ito para manatili ang kumpiyansa ng ating mga kababayan sa sistema at sa proseso (That’s why we are joining those who are calling on the Comelec to explain clearly what is happening so that public trust on the electionprocess will remain),” he added.
The mock elections were held a day after the Comelec announced that the incompatibility problems among the election systems have been fixed.
Bautista, who observed the mock elections at the H. Atienza Elementary School in Baseco, Manila and in Robinsons Ermita, said the voting process seemed slow in some instances.
He observed that one voter took 11 minutes to cast his vote when the ideal time should be two to three minutes.
Bautista said the ideal time for voting is 2-3 minutes.
The Comelec chief was also dissatisfied with the low voter turnout. The poll body had expected more than 25,000 voters to participate in the mock elections held in Aparri and Tuguegarao in Cagayan Valley, Alaminos and Dagupan in Pangasinan, Quezon City, Manila, Taguig City, Pateros, Kalibo, Sorsogon City, Matinog, Cebu City, Malay, Santander, Dipolog, Sindangan, Surallah, Jolo, General Santos City, and Lamitan City in Basilan.
The “candidates” in the mock polls were all celebrities. Justine Bieber, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Adam Levine and Taylor Swift vied for the presidency, while the vice presidential bets were Zac Efron, Ariana Grande, Alicia Keys, Avril Lavigne, Nicki Minaj and Ashley Tisdale.