MANILA, Philippines – Continuing reports of glitches and malfunctions in the operations of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines led an election commissioner to rate the “technical work” involved in the country’s first automated polls at 50 percent four hours after precincts opened at 7 a.m. Monday.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, in terms of the technical work, I would put at 40 percent to 50 percent,” election commissioner Rene Sarmiento said in a chance interview.
Sarmiento also said voter turnout was “so overwhelming” that many people have decided to leave, discouraged by the long lines waiting to cast their ballots.
Despite the problems, Sarmiento maintained that “we are hopeful” the elections would eventually go smoothly.
He said the other complaints received by the Commission on Elections were about the removal of names from voters’ lists and boards of election inspectors unprepared to deal with problems.