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PIA Press Release

Feature: Samarnons meet PCOS

By Ninfa B Quirante

Catbalogan City (18 February) -- More than 500 Samarnons from the municipalities of San Jose de Buan, Paranas, Jiabong, Motiong and Samar's capital city of Catbalogan met the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) for the first time today, February 17, 2010.

No less than the COMELEC Regional Director Atty Nick Mendros was in town to demonstrate how the machine operates.

The PCOS machine, said Comelec Supervisor Atty Corazon Montallana, will count the votes speedily in the precincts.

After a voter has fully shaded the corresponding ovals in the candidates of his choice, he himself feeds the ballot to the PCOS and after scanning the ballot, PCOS spews the ballot and on the screen will register the word, 'Congratulations!' - this signals that your vote has been counted, Comelec explained.

In the open forum that ensued, the public asked how ready is Comelec, should there be power failure, Comelec bared that the PCOS machine has some 12-16 hours emergency power.

Comelec also assured PNP Catbalogan City Chief Joseph Pensotes that there is at least one information technician available in every clustered precinct.

Pensotes asked about their preparations should the PCOS fail to function.

As regards results transmission, Atty Corazon Montallana in a previous forum said that transmission is so speedy - just a few minutes, as it is electronically transmitted.

The COMELEC also laid out several security features of the automation of elections.

It also presented security features on the hardware or the PCOS machine that will be used including biometrics and keys of the machine.

Even the paper to be used during election has its own security feature.

In Catbalogan City clustered precincts has declined from 292 in 2007 elections to the present 87, according to Comelec. (PIA-Samar) [top]

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