The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) will showcase an updated Vote Counting Machine (VCM) during a demonstration todayÂ afternoon at the Panda Tea Garden in Barangay Dao, Tagbilaran City.
Popularly known as the PCOS (Precinct Count Optical Scan), the VCM will be under public scrutiny for the first time in Bohol after the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the COMELEC to print a voter’s receipt as provided for by Republic Act (RA) 9369.
But only one VCM will be utilized for the demonstration that will cover six towns – Tagbilaran City and Calape for the 1st district, Trinidad in the 2nd district, Duero, Carmen and Jagna in the 3rd district.
One of the keenly awaited features of the VCM is the voter’s verification paper audit trail (VVPAT) which refers to a paper slip that comes out from the VCM that will allow voters to check if their votes were read accurately by the VCM.
But the voter’s receipt will not include security features such as ballot and precinct numbers and hash codes therefore, according to the COMELEC the voter’s receipt will just be an ordinary receipt and will legally useless.
COMELEC Chairman Andres Bautista was quoted as saying “at least it will give comfort to the voter that the machine counted his or her votes”.
The voter will not be allowed to bring the receipt with them but should be deposited in a separate box to avoid using the receipt for vote buying.
The COMELEC claims that the printing of the voter’s receipt will take the VCM 13 seconds or 2.1 hours if there are 600 voters per machine and additional 5 hours for 600 voters to review the printed receipts.
Malou Cempron, Election Assistant ll of the Provincial Comelec Office bared the schedule for the VCM demos to DYRD Balita with Calape on April 21 followed by Trinidad on the 22nd, Duero and Jagna on the 23rd and Carmen on the 24th.
COMELEC Regional Director Atty. Jose Nick Mendros and Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Jerome Brilliantes will be present during the VCM demo.(Chito M. Visarra)