Comelec eyes 200 vote-counting machines

THE Commission on Elections is expecting the delivery of the first 200 vote-counting machines  representing the first batch of the 93,977 machines manufactured by Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. in Taiwan.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista is confident Smartmatic will be able to ship all leased machines by Jan. 31 next year.

The second delivery of 10,000 units will be made in November, he said.

“The earlier they are delivered, the better for all of us so we can practice and familiarize,” Bautista told reporters.

He said he is seeking to amend the Omnibus Election Code mandating local government units to provide space for local election offices, citing the Comelec’s “independence.”

Bautista said many election offices had very limited space and some of those were in dilapidated buildings.

He wants more spacious rooms for the 2016 elections.

The Comelec decided to lease an entire set of vote-counting machines for P8 billion for next year’s national and local elections as it has run out of time to refurbish the machines used in the past elections.

“This is an upgraded version. It will address some of the issues encountered in the 2010 and 2013 elections,” Bautista said.

Last month, Smartmatic initially delivered five machines that are now up for review by the international certifying agency SLI Global Solutions based Denver, Colorado.

“We are forming a group that will go to Taiwan to observe the manufacturing process of the machines,” Bautista said.

He said some senators and congressmen had signified their interest to join the trip.

Early next year, the Comelec will also conduct a roadshow in all provinces to help voters and teachers familiarize themselves with the functions of the vote-counting machines.

The old precinct count optical scan  or PCOS machines used in the past elections will be refurbished and used for the 2019 mid-term elections, Bautista said.

Topics: elections , commission
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