The Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Bohol chose 72 teachers to manually count the votes cast in the coming May 9, 2016 national and local elections and compare these with the Voter’s Counting Machine (VCM) tally.
The teachers who will undergo training on April 29, 2016 will form part of the Random Manual Audit Team (RMAT) mandated by RA 9369 known as the Automated Election System Law to conduct a random manual audit in one clustered precinct per congressional district randomly chosen by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in each province and city.
The vote audit will cover the positions for president, vice president, congressman, governor and mayor.
The RMAT will be composed of five members per legislative district and will be directly under the control and supervision of the Random Manual Audit Committee.
The RMAT will be subdivided into two groups – the Manual Control Group and the Validation Group.
The COMELEC allows a margin of 10 votes per candidate per position “in the event of discrepancy and still call the VCM count accurate.
Any difference between the automated and manual count will result in the determination of the root cause that will lead to a manual count for precints affected by computer or procedural error.
The RMAT will also check and take note of overvotes, undervotes and improper shading of ballots which according to those who have served in the previous elections “more tiring and tedious than the old manual counting of votes”.
Members of RMAT are different from those of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI), according to Dr. Desiderio Deligero, Chief of the Schools Governance and Operations of the DepEd- Bohol. (Chito M. Visarra with reports from Rey Tutas)