All PCOS machines recalled

5/14/2010 - THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started the recall of all the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in the May 10 elections in Cebu City.

All 560 PCOS machines were returned by each precinct right after the voting and transmission of the election results to the canvassing center.

The PCOS machines were loaded into a container van and sent to the Smartmatic hub in barangay Mabolo, Cebu City yesterday, said South district election officer Edwin Cadungog.

All PCOS machines will be shipped back to the Smartmatic-TIM warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna.

Cebu City Treasurer Ofelia Oliva said unused official ballots were torn into half . One half was placed in an envelope for safekeeping while the other half was deposited inside the ballot box.

The other 39 back-up PCOS machines were sent to the Smartmatic hub yesterday with the other PCOS machines.

The black ballot boxes are sheltered under two tents and covered by a net in the City Hall grounds.

Oliva said they are still looking for a warehouse to place them.

There were lessons to be picked up from the May 10 polls, the country's first ever automated election.

Lionel Marco Castillano, Cebu Comelec provincial supervisor, said the number of voters in a clustered precinct should be reduced to avoid the large crowd of people lining up to vote.

“Having 1,000 voters in one clustered percinct is too much. The advisable number would be 500 to 600 for every precinct,” he said.

He said decision-making also had to be decentralized.

“It took a long while before the Comelec central office decided. There were times when we needed to deploy contigency machines but the central office could not give their decision right away which might lead to chaos.”

Slow data transmission from towns to the central canvassing center happened in areas with no available signal.

Some PCOS machines and compact flash discs had to be replaced.

Castillano will go to Manila today to bring the Certificates of Canvass (COCs) of the elections in the province.The COCs, along with the Election Returns (ER) will be submitted to Congress and the Comelec central office. (CebuDailyNews)

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