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Comelec picks precincts for random manual audits

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Sunday completed the selection of clustered precincts which will be subjected to random manual audits to check the accuracy of machine-generated results of the 2013 midterm polls.

The Comelec's random manual audit committee electronically picked precincts from each of the country's 234 legislative districts where members of the panel will conduct manual counts of votes, the results of which will be cross-checked with the results generated by the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines will which be used in Monday's elections.

Section 24 of Republic Act 9369 of the Automated Elections System Law states that there must be a random manual audit in one precinct per congressional district randomly chosen by the Commission in each province and city.

The selection of the precincts was supervised by Comelec commissioner Christian Robert Lim and the audit committee's head, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting chairman Henrietta de Villa. A list of the clustered precincts for the random manual audit has not been released to the media as of posting time.

Election observers from Russia, South Korea and Cambodia also witnessed the automated selection process.

Before the selection of the precincts, de Villa explained that her committee opted to use a computer software to select areas for the random manual audit since the manual selection process last year, which used giant tambiolos, took eight hours to complete.

"I advise you not to blink, because this is going to be really fast," de Villa said before the automated selection of the precincts.

Last Friday, the random manual audit committee selected 234 priority cities and municipalities and 234 contingency areas where they will conduct manual counts of votes,

More than 52 million registered Filipino voters are set to troop to polling places on Monday to cast votes for senators, district representatives and local officials in the country's second nationwide automated elections. — BM, GMA News