Malfunctioning machines continue to plague 2019 elections

Malfunctioning machines continue to plague 2019 elections

May 13, 2019

Election watchdog Kontra Daya is currently monitoring incoming reports of machine failures in this round of automated elections.

Currently, there are seven (7) incidents of malfunctioning Voter’s Registration Verification Machines (VRVMs) in Quezon City. and at least 31 cases of errors or failures resulting from malfunctioning vote counting machines (VCMs) nationwide.

Non-functioning verification machines
Incoming reports from volunteers of election watchdog Kontra Daya are currently noting several incidents of malfunctioning Voter’s Registration Verification Machines (VRVMs) in Quezon City.

It may be recalled that at 8:21 a.m., Kontra Daya has already called on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to suspend the pilot testing of the VRVMs because it has caused unnecessary delays in the voting. Continuation of the pilot testing until 6 p.m. could result in voter disenfranchisement.

The malfunctioning VRVMs and vote counting machines (VCMs) are among the various machine failures noted so far as the election day continues.

As of 11:30 a.m. seven (5) incidents of VRVM malfunctions have been reported across precincts in the Judge Juan Luna High School and Roxas High School in Quezon City; T. Paez Integrated School in Manila; Pagasa National High School in Dasmarinas, Cavite; East Bagong Barrio Elementary School in Caloocan City; and Mabolo Elementary School in Cebu City, among others. 
In these cases, most of the VRVMs in the polling precincts were reported as not working, compelling teachers to resort to manual verification of voters’ names in the list. In Mabolo Elementary School, Cebu, for instance, VRVMs in three precincts were reported to be not working, forcing teachers to resort to manual procedures.

Mounting reports of malfunctioning VCMs

As of 12:00 noon today, Kontra Daya’s ground volunteers have monitored at least 39 cases of errors or failures resulting from malfunctioning vote counting machines (VCMs) nationwide.

This number continues to rise as of now and does not include reports of VCM malfunctions reported on social media. Earlier this morning, no less than former Vice-President Jejomar Binay was temporarily unable to vote to a malfunctioning VCM in his precint.

Malfunctioning VCMs are a major cause of voter disenfranchisement due to delays and rejected ballots.

Nationwide incidents

In Metro Manila alone, VCM errors or failures have been reported in precincts across the cities of Caloocan, Manila, San Juan, Malabon, Novaliches, Pasig, and Quezon City. 
In Northern Luzon, VCM shutdowns were reported in the following areas so far: Bambang East Elementary School in Nueva Vizcaya, Cagayan Valley and Tumaini, Isabela. 
In Central Luzon, VCM problems were reported in the following areas: Brgy. Libsong, West Lingayen, Pangasinan; San Miguel, Tarlac; Minuyan, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; Talavera Elementary School, Nueva Ecija; and Ruperto Zubia Elementary School in Baler, Aurora.

In Southern Luzon, VCM problems were reported in the Ibalon Elementary School, Legazpi City. In the Visayas, VCM errors were reported in the precincts of Lawaan, Eastern Samar; Mabolo Elementary School in Cebu City.
In Mindanao, manual voting due to VCM malfunctions were reported along with incidents of vote-buying in the precincts in Malabang, Lanao del Sur and Nuro, Upi, Maguindanao.

The reported errors included machines shutting down, stopping, or refusing to start, stuck up ballots and/or voters’ receipts, and discrepancies in receipts generated. Some precincts resorted to manual voting.

Unresolved problem since 2010

This is the fourth round of nationally-automated elections since 2010 but the problem of VCM malfunctions continue plague each round.

VCM machine malfunctions have been reported by both Kontra Daya and the Comelec during the 2010 (205 VCMs), 2013 (171 VCMs), and 2016 (150 VCMs) elections.

Kontra Daya will continue to verify and note VRVM failures as the day proceeds. The ongoing tally of reports can be accessed through:http://www.votereportph.com.

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