Comelec Cebu to do manual counting to verify automation results in mock poll

February 4, 2010 11:44 am 

CEBU CITY, Feb. 4 – Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials in Cebu City said they will resort to manual counting during the mock election on Saturday to counter check the automation result in Barangays Mabini and Bulacao in this city.

Lawyer Edwin Cadungog, Comelec south district election officer, said that aside from the electronically transmitted result and the statement of votes printed on thermal papers by the automation machine, they will also have the members of the board of election inspectors (BEI) do a manual count of the votes.

Cadungog said the mock election is a dry-run to test if the machine results are reliable.

But he said they will also hold a manual counting to see if they will get the same results.

Cadungog said he picked up as participants in the mock poll representatives of different sectors of society such as lawyers, politicians, candidates, businessmen, and even illiterates.

"We will ask if the media can take part,” Cadungog said.

Participants in the mock poll in Mabini, a mountain barangay at the boundary of the city, were randomly selected by the office of lawyer Marchel Sarno, north district elections officer.

Sarno said they started informing those they identified as participants of the mock election Wednesday afternoon by coordinating with barangay chairman Rey Oybenes.

The participants, he said, were chosen from voters of precinct number 667A.

According to the guidelines, the Comelec will pick 50 from each barangay for a total of 100 voters joining in the mock elections.

If those in the list will not show up, Sarno said, others could be asked to join in the exercise.

Ballots that will be used this Saturday will not bear the names of candidates in the May 10 polls to avoid trending.

Fictitious names will be printed on the ballots so the results will not influence the choices of the voters in the actual elections on May 10.

The purpose of the mock elections is to test the reliability of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, and not to find out which candidates are likely to win in the polls.

Like Cebu City, the mock elections in two polling precincts each in the cities of Taguig, Baguio and Davao will also be held this Saturday (February 6).

Cadungog said they will set up the canvassing area at the Cebu City Legislative Building’s social hall, where they will also transmit the results to the national canvassing center in Manila. (PNA)

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