MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will be holding the Final Testing and Sealing (FTS) of the vote counting machines (VCMs) this week.
According to Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez, the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) that will man the 92,509 clustered precincts are going to conduct the one-day activity anytime within the week.
“The FTS will not be done simultaneously nationwide. It’s just for one day, any day this week,” he said.
The FTS involves the end-to-end test of the process, from the initialization of the machines, to the voting of 10 people, to the feeding of the accomplished ballots to the VCMs, and until the printing of election returns (ERs).
“After the process, they will seal and lock the machines in the polling precincts and will not be opened again until 5 a.m. on Election Day,” Jimenez added.
Comelec Resolution No. 9981 provides that the testing and sealing of the VCMs will be done from May 2 to 6.
“The purpose of the FTS is to see to it that the machines installed in that place are working as they should be,” he explained.
During the FTS in the last elections, the poll body reported less than a hundred glitches among the 77,829 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines, including manual counts not matching with the machine-generated results while some machines did not function.
It was also during the FTS when the compact flash (CF) cards of the voting machines were found to have been misconfigured a week before the 2010 polls.
The Comelec and Smartmatic–Total Information Management (TIM) Corporation, the service provider in the polls, have decided to replace all the estimated 76,000 CF cards nationwide. PNA/northboundasia.com