PCOS machines to arrive here next week
() - April 14, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Some Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines are expected to arrive in Region 7 next week, according to the new acting regional election director Dennis Ausan.

 Ausan said that probably by first week of May, they will be distributing these machines to the different precincts in the region.

 The director added that they will be conducting a final briefing to the board of election inspectors for last-minute instructions. 

Moreover, he clarified that the Commission on Elections is allowing the candidates to have at least one watcher. Ausan explained that if the candidates assign more than one watcher, they have to do it alternately.

Preparations for the first-ever nationwide automated elections have been ongoing despite several events that have contributed to the delay of the said project.

For this year there are 47 million registered voters scattered in about 320,000 precincts. Each precinct has, at most, 200 voters. In order to maximize the benefit and cost of each PCOS machine, one will be assigned to each clustered precinct of at most five precincts.

Comelec estimates the clustered precincts to number 80,136 hence the purchase of about 82,200 PCOS machines. Each clustered precinct will have a Board of Election Inspectors comprising three regular members and as many support staff as there are precincts in the cluster.

A few days before Election Day, there will be a testing and sealing procedure whereby the public will accomplish test ballots, manually count them and then feed the same ballots to the PCOS machines.

The printout of the election returns will be compared to the manual count. Once the public is satisfied with the accuracy, the machine will be turned off and sealed without any network or transmission connection. The public will then be allowed to secure the machines and the polling places. The next time the PCOS machines will be opened will be on Election Day, in the presence of the different watchers and BEI.

“It’s good to note that everything that must be than Atty. Buac has done it and everything is in place”, said Ausan, referring to former regional election director Rene Buac.

According to him the singling out of election officers is in order to "ensure the impartiality of election officials by preventing them from developing familiarity with the people of their place of assignment" does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

He also said that the country is still adapting the same election only the process and the tool used has been changed. But insofar as the regional level is concern, he assured that they are on track for the election preparations. – Johanna T. Natavio, Sheila Marie Catacutan and Dorothy Mae Acabo (NORSU Interns)/BRP   (FREEMAN NEWS)

 

AUSAN BOARD OF ELECTION INSPECTORS BUAC DENNIS AUSAN ELECTION ELECTION DAY JOHANNA T RENE BUAC SHEILA MARIE CATACUTAN AND DOROTHY MAE ACABO SOME PRECINCT COUNT OPTICAL SCAN
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