I just voted at the North Fairview Elementary School in Quezon City in precinct number 2106A clustered under precinct #493. It took me an hour to line up, check my name on the list, sign adjacent my name, put my right thumb mark, shade the oval beside my candidates, and cast it in the PCOS machine.
As of 2 p.m., there were 453 ballots cast out of 1,000 voters in the precinct.
Upon entering the school, you will be greeted by people, supporters of different candidates I would guess, who keep on shoving in your face sample ballots for their candidates. It’s similar to what I encountered during my first ever elections in 2007. In the end, there was so much clutter on the floor inside and outside the school. There’s so much paper wasted and trashed.
Right after voting, I interviewed the head of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Board of Elections Inspectors (BEIs) of our clustered precinct, Leah Lopez, about the conduct of elections in the precinct, and she said, “magulo” (unorderly). I asked why it was like that; she said it was because the PCOS machine wasn’t working earlier.
At 7:35 a.m., they found out that the PCOS machine was defective, and it wouldn’t read the ballots. At 8:22 a.m., they tested a blank ballot and it was accepted, while other filled-out ballots weren’t being taken in. The voting continued, as per COMELEC regulation. At 9:23 a.m., the PCOS machine was able to accept and count the ballots.
The BEIs had to cut off more or less a quarter of a millimeter from both sides of the ballots, both filled out by the voters when the PCOS wasn’t working earlier, and the unfilled ballots, to make it work.
Jomar Orchiana, coordinator for the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) of the Divine Savior Parish, said that the process was slow, and the lines weren’t managed well. People were cutting and there were disorderly lines. They had to help put the lines in order so that the voting could go smoothly.
Poll officials improvise to make PCOS work is my article for Blogwatch