VCM malfunctions delay polls in some Tacloban precincts

TACLOBAN CITY – (UPDATE) Long queues of voters formed at several polling precincts in Tacloban City where several vote counting machines (VCM) were reported to have malfunctioned causing delays in voting and affecting early data transmission.

At 3:00 in the afternoon, a VCM with serial number HPM 180 PA10 1062427 was delivered for replacement at Panalaron Central School Cluster Precinct 6, the 4th largest polling precinct in Tacloban City, after another machine with serial number VCM HPM 180 PA0 1031337 broke down at around 11:00 in the morning.

According to a member of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) in the said clustered precinct, the VCMs started to encounter series of errors at around 9:00 in the morning.

According to a COMELEC Regional Office technical personnel, the said unit they delivered was already the 5th VCM replacement recorded in Tacloban. After the first technical glitch was  addressed, voting in the said precinct first resumed at 12:00 noon, but encountered the same problem before the last replacement.

According to voters in the said precinct, several adjustments were made by the BEIs. While some remaining ballots affected by the technical glitch were directly fed to the VCM by voters themselves, BEIs Raquel Nogueras, Emmanuel Garcia and Julita Codero were later authorized by 90 voters to feed their ballots on their stead.

Meanwhile, VCM breakdown was also reported in Sagkahan National High School Cluster 98, while the counting machine in Cluster 99, in the same voting place, rejected 10 ballots.

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Eastern Vista

Eastern Vista is an alternative media organization in Eastern Visayas. Stories of people in the struggle for justice and aid after super typhoon Yolanda inspired its creation in 2014. Eastern Vista is also a co-producer of Lingganay han Kamatuoran, a Waray-based radio magazine program airing since 2003. From Eastern Philippines, Eastern Vista shares the news and views from a people rising.