‘Minor issues’ detected during final testing, sealing of vote counting machines in Cebu City

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ONLY minor issues were detected by officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) during the final testing and sealing of the vote counting machines (VCMs) that will be used in Cebu City for the May 9, 2022 elections.

Marilou Paredes, the acting election supervisor of Comelec Cebu City South District, led the inspection of the 964 VCMs that were distributed to different polling precincts in the city on Thursday, May 5.

According to Paredes, the issue was found in the digital signatures of the teachers who will serve as members of the electoral boards (EBs) during the polling day.

Paredes said there were some polling precincts in the city wherein the teachers’ digital signatures were not yet uploaded.

The election officer gave the assurance that the problem will be addressed before election day comes.

In a recent interview, Paredes explained that the digital signatures are the credentials of the EBs’ members that will be transmitted together with the election returns generated by the VCMs.

Digital signatures also certify that the EB members were the ones who transmitted the votes.

However, the EB members’ actual signature is still needed for the hard copy of the election returns, Paredes added.

Paredes also admitted that there were only a few allocations of VCMs that will serve as contingency machines if some VCMs will experience trouble during election day.

However, Paredes said Cebu City has an advantage compared to other localities since the extra VCMs are stored in the Comelec’s hub located within the city.

Paredes further said the external batteries of the VCMs are fully functional and these will automatically give power to the VCMs during power interruptions.

Since the testing and sealing of VCMs have been completed, the polling precincts will be guarded by personnel of the Philippine National Police and poll watchers, she added. / IRT

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