Comelec-XI says manual method if electronic transmission fails

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 April) — With only two weeks left before the midterm elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Region XI assured signal jammers would not pose a threat to the transmission of election results.

Speaking at the Kapihan sa Philippine Information Agency Friday at the Abreeza Mall, Comelec regional director Wilfredo Jay Balisado said they can resort to a manual transmission of the results in case an electronic transmission would not work.

Balisado said manual transmission means the board of election inspectors will just put the compact flash card in an envelope, seal and send it to the canvassing center.

“We would still know the results in due time even if it would be delayed,” he said.

The official further said that voting can still be done even if a precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machine bogs down.

“The board of election inspectors will just collect the election ballots and it will be feed to other working PCOS machines for the counting of votes,” he explained, adding damaged PCOS machines will be sent to their central office in Manila for safekeeping.

“What I’m trying to say is that, all possible problems on the coming elections will be addressed and we have prepared plans for any unforeseen events,” Balisado said.

But in a statement today, poll watchdog Kontra Daya pointed out that the final testing and sealing of the PCOS machines, which is scheduled a week before election, will not include transmission.

Kontra Daya said that with Comelec’s admission that it could no longer hold a source code review as required by law, “no one really knows how the machines are programmed to count the votes, putting a serious question on the credibility of the elections.”

“The source code review was instituted precisely to assure the political parties and the electorate that the software to be used in counting our votes is trustworthy,” the group said.

Source code is the human-readable program that runs and controls the step-by-step process of the automated elections from receiving the ballots to counting, consolidating, and transmitting the votes. (MindaNews)