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Comelec: 50,000 PCOS machines pass tech tests, 1,000 rejected, 30,000 set aside

Ongoing technical scrutiny of the 82,000 precinct count optical scan machines for the 2013 election has resulted in the rejection of 1,000 PCOS units and quarantine of 30,000 others, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes said Friday.   PCOS units that passed the technical audit totaled 50,000. Testing of the machines began last month at the Smartmatic warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna.   Brillantes said the rejected units were “defective and non-functional” but he did not elaborate on what the defects are.   The quarantined 30,000 had dirty adaptors, the Comelec chief added.   “The adaptors were dirty. You see, we are very strict in the acceptance, that’s why we are putting them aside,” he said.   Brillantes also said most of the rejected PCOS units can be replaced by the 900 machines recently used in special elections.   Smartmatic International, vendor of the equipment, has ample time to manufacture additional machines should that be necessary, according to the Comelec chairman. In a Twitter comment, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said, "Defective PCOS machines will not be paid for." The equipment supply contract between the Comelec and Smartmatic International is worth P1.2 billion.   The PCOS machines were first used in the 2010 automated elections. After the elections, several groups complained that the machines had technical defects and could affect the credibility of the elections.   In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court said the alleged defects could still be fixed.    The Comelec opted to create a special committee to address PCOS issues. — AE/ELR, GMA News