VCM testing. Photo by Ernie Esconde
BALANGA CITY — The provincial office of the Commission on Elections here announced that testing and sealing of vote counting machines (VCMs) for the local and national elections were ongoing Tuesday in all polling precincts in 11 towns and one city in Bataan.
Lawyer Cristina Garcia, provincial elections supervisor, said they have received 861 VCMs to be used in the polls on May 9. She said that so far no extra VCM for any contingency has been provided yet.
Bataan has 566,479 registered voters scattered in 237 barangays in three districts.
In the clustered precincts in barangays Ibaba and Santa Lucia in Samal, Bataan, watchers of two rival mayoral candidates, volunteers of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting and members of the board of election inspectors (BEI), came early morning of Tuesday for the testing of the VCMs assigned in their respective polling area.
They watched closely from the opening of the boxes containing the VCM and paraphernalia to the counting of test votes and sealing the machines.
The watchers and the BEI members participated in open voting.
Members of the BEI explained the purpose of the exercise before opening the sealed boxes.
“Ang purpose nito ay para malaman natin kung ang machine na ito ay walang diperensiya at magagamit sa election date at isa pa nga ay para malaman ninyo na wala talagang nakaboto dito,” BEI chair teacher Caridad Rodriguez told the watchers.
“Wala pang boto na nakapasok kaya ayan tingnan ninyo na ito ay sealed na sealed at kaya kayo nandito para saksihan ito,” Rodriguez added.