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Comelec gets 59 poll protest cases so far

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has so far received 59 electoral protest cases, and it expects the number to increase in the coming days.

“It’s already 59 and we started raffling them off. But I was told that many more cases are being filed, so it may reach 100,” Comelec Commissioner Lucenito Tagle said.

Most of the cases involved local candidates and the Comelec will start hearings on June 6.

“Maybe they just could not accept that they lost in the elections… Majority of the cases filed had already been dismissed,” Tagle added.

Tagle could not immediately recall how many protest cases were filed when the Comelec first automated the elections in 2010. But he said the figure was less compared to the time when the country was doing manual polls.

Many of the cases filed in 2010 questioned the accuracy of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.

For this year’s elections, the Comelec once again convened the Random Manual Audit (RMA) team to conduct random manual audit of election results to determine the accuracy of the PCOS machines.

The RMA team randomly selected polling precincts and did a manual count of the election results there. The team compared the results of the manual count with the automated count.

The team is composed of the Comelec, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, and National Statistics Office (NSO).

In 2010, the 24-page report of the RMA team showed that the discrepancies in the manual and automated counts were minimal at not more than one percent.

The report also showed that based on the NSO’s cumulative variance for five positions subjected to RMA in 2010, “none failed the accuracy rate of 99 percent.”

The auditors evaluated the ballots from 1,046 sample clustered precincts across the country, representing 540,942 people in the country’s first automated polls. The results of the Automated Election System (AES) count were compared to the manual count results.

“Ideally, the number of votes counted from the AES should be the same as the number of votes counted manually. However, discrepancies between the counts per AES and per RMA occurred which can be attributed to clerical errors (errors in transposition) and/or mathematical errors (errors in counting and adding of taras),” the report said.

AUTOMATED ELECTION SYSTEM BUT I COMELEC COMELEC COMMISSIONER LUCENITO TAGLE MANUAL NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL RANDOM MANUAL AUDIT RESPONSIBLE VOTING TAGLE
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