By ADELA WAYAS
BAGUIO CITY — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Monday started its information drive for registered voters on the automation system of the May 2010 elections at Saint Louis University here.
Comelec Commissioner Armando Velasco and Smartmatic computer experts conducted a mock election with the Precinct Count Optical System (PCOS) to count the votes filed.
Velasco explained the importance of cooperation, trust and participation among the students and teachers who will serve as poll watchers in this new election count process. He said training seminars like this are being conducted nationwide to familiarize the voters of the process.
Smartmatic Specialist Gaye Cabalo demonstrated to the students and some faculty instructors how the PCOS machine works. She said marking pens will be provided in the precincts to be used by the voters to shade the vote for their chosen candidates. After accomplishing this in a secret ballot, Cabalo said the ballot must be delivered personally by the voter to the counting machine operated by the teachers.
She also emphasized that the voter must wait for the confirmation of the bar code on the ballot and that the votes are read by the machine before leaving the area.
Cabalo elucidated that contingency plans are made should there be power interruptions or other problems. Fully charged batteries are attached to the machines and a mobile satellite will be on stand by in case transmission signals fail.
Commissioner Velasco said that in places where there is tribal war, a separate machine will be assigned to each area to avoid endangering the voters from each side. He did not say if there are extra computers to be used or if the machines would be enough if ever this would happen.
It was said earlier that 7.2 billion was the budget allocated for the 82, 200 counting machines to be used in the poll automation nationwide. #nordis.net