Saturday, February 6, 2010

5 out of 50 Ballots rejected on the mock election in New Era Elementary School

February 6, New Era Elementary School, Tandang Sora, Quezon City, in line with the preparation for the May 10 Poll Automation, Commission on Election conducted mock election on nine selected areas with the country where New Era Elementary School which only has fifty mock election voters. The mock election begins at 8:00AM and ends at 10AM. From the fifty ballots only four were rejected, it should be five but the representative of the Smartmatic use the rejected ballot to discuss the importance of following the guidelines on voter’s education to fully shade the ovals in the ballots and avoid voting ambiguous markings where the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines sees it as error. Here is the video of Miguel Avila of Smartmatic explaining:

Aside from the ballots being rejected minor argument among the media and COMELEC officials became a problem during the mock election in New Era Elementary school. After the mock election Jose Rizal wins president in New Era Elementary School poll with 22 votes and Marcelo H. del Pillar as vice president with 12 votes. Present at the mock election in New Era were Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) chairperson Ambassador Henrietta "Tita" de Villa and Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch convenor Alfredo Pascual to observe the event along with representatives from various groups like Bantay Daya 2010, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and other sectors. According to Ambassador de Villa that the COMELEC and teachers assigned on the election must remind the voters to follow the guidelines on the voter’s education to minimize the possibility of ballot rejections and they should re-check their ballots first if there are ambiguous markings, not fully shaded ovals and folds on their ballots that result machine rejections.

There are two rooms allotted for the mock election, the actual voting area and the holding area. In New Era Elementary School mock election voters were grouped into ten members per batch, it takes 5-10 minutes for a voter to finish casting his/her votes while others takes time to choose their candidates even the list is fictional. It takes only few minutes to transmit the results to the session hall of the Quezon City Hall. Here are some images from the mock election that happen in New Era Elementary School.

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez says that the mock election that happens today is considered successful despite of the minor problems that polling precincts encountered. All the nine mock poll precincts (Gen. Ricardo Papa Memorial High School – Taguig City, Maharlika Elementary School – Taguig City, Pines City National High School - Baguio City, Community Youth Center - Baguio City, Mabini Elementary School -Cebu City, Bulacao Community School - Cebu City, Alejandra Navarro Elementary School - Davao City, Generoso Elementary School - Davao City, New Era Elementary School - Quezon City) transmitted the to the COMELEC office by 11:11AM. But one question remains unanswered if the PCOS machines can contain the votes coming from 76,000 clustered precincts on May 10, 2010. I hope that aside from the cities that COMELEC targeted on today’s mock election, COMELEC will have mock elections on provincial/rural areas to check the capacity of the machines, the voter’s behavior toward the new system and extending the voter’s education especially the teachers who will be working with the COMELEC on the 2010 election.

On my take and updates Philippine 2010 Election click here.

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