Comelec: Mock elections ran smoothly but low voter turnout PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 14 February 2016 14:14

The mock elections conducted by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Saturday witnessed a low voter turnout.

That is according to Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista, who went around Metro Manila to check the situation in the polling precincts.

The mock elections in 20 cities across the country faced several problems including rejection of ballots by vote counting machines (VCMs) attributed to too potent markers that were used by voters.

The simulation was part of the poll body’s preparations for the May 9 national elections.

Despite these, as an early assessment, Bautista said the mock elections ran smoothly by large, adding that the testing proceeded the way they envisioned it.

He added he sees no real threat hindering the May 9 elections.

“By large, it was smooth, but at the same time, you could see though that we did not have as many voters as we would actually expect during election day,” Bautista said.

“And I think this is understandable because this is really just a dry run,” he added.

Bautista, however, recognized that certain things could still be improved as the preparations continue.

The poll body is set to conduct random manual audits to ensure that the results transmitted by the machines and the actual votes cast are the same.

Also, on Tuesday, a joint congressional oversight committee meeting involving all election stakeholders is set to properly address with the Smartmatic, provider of the VCMs, the problems being encountered so far.

Meanwhile, Bautista asked the support and understanding of the public.

“As of the moment, we’re still in our testing process, testing phase, we’re looking for ways to improve our system. We continue to ask the public to be vigilant and also to be patient. This is a work in progress,” he said.

Meanwhile, GMA News reported that glitches were recorded during the mock elections.

GMA News’ Balitanghali by Mariz Umali said three mock ballots were rejected by the vote counting machine at the Ramon Magsaysay Elementary School in Quezon City, which Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista visited during the first hours of the mock elections.

The report said that Comelec personnel suspect that a Board of Election Inspector’s signature, which exceeded the assigned space, caused the glitch.

It said that due to the sensitivity of the system, the VCM might have considered it as dirt.

Votes cast on the rejected ballots will not be counted and the voters will not be given another ballots because each one has an assigned ID.

Bautista, who personally oversaw the proceedings in some precincts in Metro Manila, said the Comelec will investigate the glitches recorded at the Ramon Magsaysay Elementary School.

Balitanghali, meanwhile, reported that the start of the mock elections in Kalibo, Aklan was delayed because of low power voltage that caused the VCM to fluctuate.

Slow internet connection also hampered the mock elections at the Kalibo precinct, the report added.

The Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) also reported a glitch at the Surallah Elementary School in Sultan Kudarat.

It said a mock ballot was rejected by the VCM six times.