[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 4 May 2010 Tuesday

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue May 4 18:19:17 PHT 2010

Newsbriefs 4 May 2010 Tuesday

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Church group to have parallel tally of votes (IQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines-The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), the accredited citizen's arm of the Commission on Elections, announced Tuesday that it will conduct its own parallel tally of votes on election day on May 10.

PPCRV's Ana de Villa-Singson said PPCRV will get the fourth copy of the election returns to help them come up with an unofficial tally of votes a day after election day.

The tally will be apart from the results that will be obtained from the Commission on Elections from the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines.

The PPCRV, then, will obtain two sets of results, first from the Comelec and the other from the election returns.

The fourth copy of ERs, considered as "pristine copy," is the data that the PCOS machines will print out right after the counting of votes on May prior to transmission.

De Villa-Singson said that on May 11, ERs nationwide will be encoded and tallied at the PPCRV's national command center at United Nations Avenue in Manila.

Palace steps in amid PCOS chaos (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines-Concerned about the problems being encountered with the precinct count optical scan machines for the May 10 elections, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered government information technology experts to help fix the problem.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Rogelio Peyuan on Tuesday said Commissioner Ray Anthony Chua of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) had been asked by the President to meet with officials of the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic-TIM to discuss the situation and suggest solutions, including possible "alternative moves.''

Peyuan told reporters Arroyo and Chua had been discussing the situation since problems concerning the machines were reported on Monday.

He said reports reaching the Palace showed the problems, which involved mainly the "local programming'' of the machines, happened in some areas in Batangas and Taguig.

The Inqurier also received reports that PCOS machines in Palawan and Northern Luzon areas had failed field tests.

Glitches prompt Comelec to stop testing of poll machines (www.gmanews.tv)
 (Updated 11:38 a.m.) After some voting machines malfunctioned on Monday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has decided to cancel the testing and sealing of other Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines on Tuesday.

In a phone interview with GMANews.TV, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they decided to cancel the tests at midnight on Monday after reports came in saying some of the PCOS machines being tested have malfunctioned.

Jimenez also said that they have decided to retrieve all the compact flash (CF) cards from all PCOS machines, which are already pre-positioned around the country. 

On Monday, voting machines tested in Makati, Muntinlupa, Pateros, Batangas and Mindoro counted votes for those who were not even marked on the ballot, among other discrepancies. [See: Some poll machines fail to read votes accurately]

"Right now we're assuming that all of the machines are affected," Jimenez in a separate interview on GMA Network's Unang Hirit. About 10,000 voting machines were supposedly tested on Monday.

Jimenez admitted that the "glitches" experienced by the PCOS units were the primary reason for the cancellation. He noted, however, that this was a good thing because they will be able to remedy the problem on time.

Smartmatic admits error in configuring PCOS flash cards (abs-cbnNEWS.com)
MANILA, Philippines - Human error led to the failure of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines to correctly read votes for local positions during Monday's mock polls, an official of poll machine supplier Smartmatic-TIM admitted Tuesday. 

Smartmatic Southeast Asia president Cesar Flores said the company failed to properly configure compact flash disks of the PCOS machines to properly read the votes for the local races because of a difference in the layouts of the national and local ballots. 

He said the PCOS machine incorrectly read the local ballot "because the local ballot has double spacing. If you look at the national [ballot], they are all single spaced." 

"If you mark the first row, it will be read correctly but for some reason, the configuration is telling the machine that the candidate on the second row is actually on a third row [because of the space]," he said in a press conference at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Manila. 

Wrong data in CF cards may cause PCOS reading errors' (abs-cbnNEWS.com)
MANILA, Philippines -  An IT consultant on Tuesday said wrong configurations of the compact flash cards in the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines may have caused glitches in reading votes for the local races.

IT expert Lito Averia of AES Watch said the failure of PCOS machines to read votes for local positions during mock PCOS tests in various municipalities could be traced to the design of the ballots. Averia said the Commission on Elections decided to change the listing of the names on the ballots from a vertical list to a horizontal list. 

Averia said the PCOS machines are configured to read which ovals are shaded on the ballot based on the "intersections of the longitude and latitude of the ballot."

"The machine will expect to check if the ovals are shaded. I think that set of data was not properly configured or properly prepared. The machines read the ballots in 2 phases, the national and local. When the machines read the local, I think it got lost somewhere. It's not the configuration of the machine. The machine is somewhat confused because you're giving it the wrong directions. It is looking here when it should be looking somewhere else," he told ANC's Dateline Philippines. 




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