Group asks for review of content, dimension of ballots

neri-colmenares

BAYAN MUNA Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares today urged the Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System (COCAES) to review the major glitches in the recent mock elections including the content and size of the ballots.

“The mock results showed one thing—the problems that beset the PCOS machines in the 2010 elections are the same problems that we will encounter in 2013 except that its worse.  It was a failure and not a success.  Problems in starting the machine, failure in transmission, over votes and under votes are definitely not minor glitches.  Worse, while it was easier to put the ballot into the PCOS machine in 2010, the Comelec had a hard time inserting the ballots this time due to possible changes in the dimension and thickness of the ballot,” said Rep. Colmenares.

“The COCAES should immediately investigate this considering that there will already be long queues in the precinct since Comelec has increased the voters for each clustered precinct to 1,000 voters.  Difficulty in inserting the ballots will result in overcrowding and delay.  Delay is an invitation to fraud,”

Suspicious absence of Total Party List Votes Cast in Election Returns raised

Rep. Colmenares also raised the possibility of cheating in the party list votes when the Comelec and Smartmatic failed to fulfill their commitment to configure the election returns so that it will not only reflect the total number of votes case in a precinct, but also the total number of votes cast for the party list groups in that precinct.

“If the total party list votes in the precinct level are not reflected in the election returns, then it will be difficult for election watchdogs to find out if the percent share of a party list group is correct.  First, it is difficult for one to find out exactly how many party list votes were actually cast nationwide.  Second, it is difficult for anyone to know if for example, a certain group really garnered 2% of the total party list votes cast, since only Comelec officials calculate the percentage-share that each group has making it possible for a non-qualifying group to bribe a Comelec official to give it a higher percentage.  I will request the COCAES to also investigate the Comelec procedure in calculating both factors considering that this higher percentage is not a minor issue because translates to one congressional seat” explained Colmenares, who is a member of the Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System and the Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Suffrage.

Continuing Oversight Function of COCAES

“I think the COCAES should continue to convene during the elections even if Congress is in recess.  With the major problems encountered by Smartmatic, the COCAES will play a crucial role in monitoring the 2013 elections. For a start it should look into the results of the recent mock polls all over the country,” Colmenares said.

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