GMA News Online
Eleksyon 2013

Comelec's online precinct finder map not 100% accurate

May 3, 2013 4:18pm

(Updated 10:20 p.m.) For some voters, the online precinct finder system is hardly any help in finding their precincts for the May 13 midterm elections, as some of them have complained of wrong locations generated by the system through Google Maps.

Posted on the Comelec's website, the precinct finder is supposed to show voters the location of their polling places. A voter would simply type his or her complete name and birthday to engage the system.

Dean Lozarie, a journalism student in UP Diliman, may find himself voting in the middle of the street if he were to follow the precinct finder.

When he typed his personal details to generate the polling place location, the system listed the correct place — at Philippine Electronics and Communication Institute of Technology, Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte.

But the Google Maps directed the polling place in the middle of an intersection at Jose Aquino Avenue, 25 kilometers away from the school.

"I'm not that worried for myself because I already know where my precinct is, but I'm afraid other people might have trouble voting on May 13 if the Comelec website points them to the wrong place," Lozarie said.

GMA News' Social Media Team's Rossa Landingin also tried the system — but while she was supposed to vote at Claret School, Quezon City, the maps directed her at Tandang Sora Market, along Tandang Sora Avenue, 10 kilometers away.

"Ang nangyayari..., lalabas yung tamang details except 'yung Google Maps," Landingin said in a text message.

Suzette Dalumpines of GMA News' Social Media Team had the same frustration — the map said she was to vote near Cypress Towers Condominium in Taguig, but her polling place is at Tenement Elementary School, a three-minute walk from the condominium.

"Parang napaka-obvious 'yung inaccuracy... I don't think dapat naglagay pa sila ng mapa. Parang useless rin," she said in a phone interview.


But according to a disclaimer on the online precinct finder system, "the location of your polling center as shown in the Google Map may not be 100% accurate."

"The intention of this feature is just to give a general idea of the location. If the result turns out to be inaccurate, please verify with your local Comelec office on the correct location of your polling center before Election Day," the disclaimer further said.

Reached for a comment, the IT Department programmer refused to give a statement, but said their system's disclaimer already explains the situation.

On Thursday, poll commissioner Grace Padaca told GMA News Online in a text message that the poll body "will look into this."

Elections chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. could not be reached for comment as of this posting .

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez believed the confusion could be from the established precincts that were encoded in the precinct finder.
The Comelec clustered the precincts to maximize the use of PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines. From the 344,529 established precinct, the number was narrowed down or clustered to 77,829. There are 36,772 voting centers or schools where the public can cast their vote.
“For most people, reasonably accurate yung established precinct kasi dun din sila sa same area but we’ve had to reshuffle the precincts because of greater number of voters per clustered precinct, ngayon ang maximum 1,000 pero dati marami na 500, 600. Ngayon talagang pinagdikit dikit natin kasi yung ating PCOS machines e yun lang din ang kakayanin,” Jimenez said. — with Amita Legaspi/LBG/RSJ/KBK, GMA News
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