The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to decide whether to blacklist Smartmatic over the malfunction of the company's 961 Vote Counting Machines (VCM) that were used during the conduct of the 2019 polls last May 13.
“We are still doing forensic investigation,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a forum on Wednesday.
“We have to settle where the liability [of Smartmatic] lies [first],” Jimenez added.
On top of the 961 VCMs that malfunctioned, 1,600 Secure Digital (SD) cards loaded in VCMs also did not work during election day despite these VCMs and SD cards passing earlier tests.
The Comelec said the VCMs probably encountered synchronization problems because the SD cards, ballot paper, and markers came from different suppliers.
The Comelec was able to replace all of the VCMs and the SD cards that malfunctioned but replacements did not come immediately, causing delay in the voting process in some areas.
There were at least 85,000 VCMs used in the May 2019 polls.
No less than President Rodrigo Duterte called on the Comelec to ditch Smartmatic as provider of VCMs and look for a machine that is fraud free.
The Random Manual Audit on the accuracy of Smartmatic-manufactured VCMs used in the May 2019 polls conducted by the Comelec and independent entities, however, showed that the VCM count is 99.9953 percent accurate—the highest since the country implemented the automated election system in 2010. — MDM, GMA News