Press Release
May 10, 2010


In an ironic twist of fate, LP presidential bet Sen. Noynoy Aquino--one of those who had expressed concerns with the automation of the May polls and had called for a full manual parallel count--experienced firsthand the technical problems that could plague the country's first fully-automated national polls.

The PCOS machine in Aquino's precinct broke down just over an hour into the voting period and was being attended to by PCOS technicians when Aquino arrived to cast his vote at around nine in the morning. According to Board of Electoral Inspectors (BEI) Chair Edgardo V. Aguas, the PCOS machine was tested on Saturday and it read the test ballots properly. The initial testing, however, didn't do much to prevent the PCOS machine from breaking down.

Reacting to the unfortunate turn of events, Aquino was hopeful that the technical glitch would be addressed, but feared that other voters may suffer a similar fate.

"Sana maayos agad ang PCOS machine. Disenfranchisement is my chief concern. Sana makaboto lahat ng tao."

Aquino's experience was not an isolated one, as PCOS machines in several precincts in the country were working properly until they began hanging, making the already long lines longer as the queue failed to move.

The clustering of precincts had resulted in longer lines as each has to take as many as a thousand voters. The long lines had already discouraged many voters, who chose to go home rather than stand in line. The pace of voting has been inconsistent, depending on the precinct; some voters online reported that as few as ten voters per hour were accommodated per precinct; others said that around 50 per hour were able to vote.

Voting hours are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Assuming 50 voters per hour are accommodated, only 550 (or 55% of voters per precinct) will be able to cast their vote. The Comelec, however, has instructed BEIs not to close voting as long as there were in line waiting for their turn. A total of 50,723,734 voters will be voting in 76,340 clustered precincts.

Sen. Aquino is voting in the same school and precinct as his late mother, Pres. Corazon C. Aquino--Precinct 175 at the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Elementary School in Tarlac City, Tarlac.

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