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PIA Press Release
2009/10/15

Comelec, Smartmatic orient NVizcaya officials on poll automation

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya (October 15) -- The Commission on Elections(COMELEC) and Smartmatic on Thursday conducted a four-hour orientation and hands–on training among local officials and concerned government agencies in the province.

The activity is being conducted to prepare stakeholders and voters in knowing the advantages of using the Precinct Count Optical Scan(PCOS) which will be deployed in strategic areas in the municipalities as part of the automated elections for 47 million voters in the country next year, according to Mike Avila of Smartmatic-Technical Information Management.

"This is our first leg of our two – day information campaign in Cagayan Valley. We will be proceeding to Santiago City and the rest of the provinces in region 02 after our activity in Nueva Vizcaya," Avila said.

According to Avila, PCOS is a paper-based and battery-fed technology machine that will last up to 16 hours during the elections.

Because of this technology, human error will be eliminated while there is a need among voters to properly and carefully follow its instructions so that the votes will be read by the machine.

He said the basic instructions are: Fully shade the candidates’ name on the ballot, refrain from over voting candidates as this will not be read by the machine and undervote is allowed.

"We need to prepare our list before going to our respective precincts because only one ballot is allowed for each voter. There should be no room for error," Avila said.

Voters who cannot read and write can also bring with them their companions to assist them inside the voting precincts.

Voters need not to write their name and other ambiguous marks on the ballot as these will not be properly read by the machine, Avila stressed.

He added that the Comelec also be conducting a nationwide survey to identify the accessible communication networks in the areas which is necessary in transmitting the general reports to the Comelec central office and its allied organizations.

"All reports will be transmitted by the machine so there will be no more human transportation needed during the elections," Avila said.

The PCOS orientation seminar was attended by provincial officials headed by governor Luisa Cuaresma and vice governor Jose Gambito, municipal officials, representatives from the Department of Education(DepEd). Comelec provincial and municipal executives and the Philippine National Police. (bme/PIA NVizcaya) [top]

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