MANILA—Three Philippine posts implementing automated polls experienced minor glitches as vote counting machines (VCMs) failed to work two days after the overseas absentee voting (OAV) started.
According to Commission on Elections (Comelec)–Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) head Commissioner Arthur Lim, the VCMs used in Hong Kong, Dubai, and Riyadh experienced glitches.
“One VCM each is temporarily down in HK, Dubai, and Riyadh. We are addressing the situation already,” he said.
The poll body official said that the VCMs will be shipped back to Manila and will be replaced.
“One replacement VCM will each be deployed on Monday to HK, Dubai, and Riyadh,” he added.
Lim noted that voters in the affected precincts will be allowed to cast their ballots in the adjacent precincts.
“To avoid interruption in voting, the voters in the precincts concerned will be allowed to cast/feed their ballots in the adjoining precincts, where the rest of the VCMs are operating normally,” he said.
On the other hand, Lim reported that the overall conduct of the 30-day OAV has been “so far, so good” despite the recorded glitches.
He is confident of meeting the projected OAV voter turnout of 50 to 60 percent.
“Definitely we remain confident as we still have 28 days to go,” said Lim.
Meanwhile, Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista said that 17 Philippine posts are implementing mixed voting.
Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10052, Philippine posts are given a choice to either cast their votes through postal or personal voting.
“If you are a voter there, you have two options: You can either vote personally by going to the Embassy or Consulate; or you can mail your ballot,” he said.
The selected posts are in Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, Rome, Milan, London, Madrid, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Agana, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.
There are three methods of voting in the OAV, namely manual personal voting, automated personal voting, and postal voting. The overseas voters are voting for president, vice president, senators, and party-list organizations.
There are a total of 1,376,067 registered voters for the overseas absentee voting this year.