‘Good’ voters’ turnout in Region 12 – Comelec

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 15 May) – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) declared a “good” voting turnout of 74.3 percent in in Region 12 in Monday’s local and national midterm elections.

Lawyer Jose Villanueva, Comelec-12 assistant regional director, said Wednesday data gathered from local election offices showed that around 1.8 million of the 2,431,265 registered voters in the area were able to cast their votes.

He said such figure was higher than their voting projection of 65 to 70 percent for the entire region.

“That’s a good turnout. It’s a true reflection of the people exercising their mandate to select their own leaders,” he said.

Villanueva said that despite the glitches encountered with the vote counting machines (VCM) and secure digital or SD cards, the conduct of the polls in the area was generally successful.

He said they achieved their main objective of making sure that voting in all precincts would proceed and there would be no failure of elections.

Villanueva clarified that majority of the deployed VCMs were “actually functional” and the problems were with the defective SD cards.

He explained that the SD cards function like subscriber identification modules or phone sim cards and carries the program that allows the VCMs to count and transmit the votes.

Removing the SD cards will turn the VCMs into “generic machines” and unusable for the voting, he said.

As of Tuesday night, he said their records showed that “only less than 20” VCMs actually malfunctioned and at least 50 SD cards were found defective.

He said the corrupt SD cards led to delays in the canvassing of votes and proclamation of winning candidates in parts of the region.

The affected areas included three municipalities in Sarangani, this city and Koronadal City in South Cotabato.

“But looking at the whole picture, we’re still better off because the defective SD cards in other regions even reached more than 100,” he said.

Villanueva said they are currently collating the data regarding the glitches with the VCMs and SD cards as well as other issues and challenges that they faced during the elections.

He said they will report them to their central office during the scheduled management committee meeting next month. (MindaNews)