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Comelec: May 13 polls a success despite glitches

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) considers the May 13 midterm elections a success despite several glitches experienced throughout Election Day and during the transmission of election results to the transparency server.

“‘Yun nga lang ang hinihingi namin ng pag-unawa at pasensiya sa mga tao but sa part namin, sa tingin namin successful pa rin ang election because ‘yung rate nga masyado pa ring mababa para sa amin,” said Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas during a press conference before the National Board of Canvassers convened on Tuesday.

Abas also considered as another feather in their cap the fact that no failure of elections was declared in any area.

“Lahat nakapag-conduct ng botohan, walang failure of election na natanggap kami. For us isang magandang milestone iyon,” he said.

According to Abas, as of 10 a.m., Tuesday,  961 or 1.1 percent of the 85,769 vote-counting machines (VCMs) were reported defective. He said only 801 VCMs malfunctioned in 2016.

Meanwhile, 1,665 or 1.9 percent of the 85,769 SD cards encountered issues, Abas said, noting that only 120 SD cards were found defective during the 2016 polls.

He said based on the report of the National Technical Support Center, 1,253 of the defective SD cards have been replaced while others are still being reconfigured.

He added the transmission rate as of 11 a.m. is already 96.7 percent.

Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo shared Abas' view.

“Despite those glitches that we had, since this is less than 1 percent of the entire 85,000 plus units, we can say that the election is successful. In fact, we are already in the 96 percent transmission,” he said.

He added the transmission in the 2019 polls is faster compared to past elections. He further said that all the automated election system components passed through the local source code review and the major components even passed with flying colors.

“We can say that the result of the election is valid and credible,” Casquejo said.

Aside from the issue on SD cards and VCMs, the unofficial count was delayed after the application responsible for pushing out the results from the Comelec’s transparency server to third-party organizations suffered a glitch on Monday shortly after the polls closed.

Another error early Tuesday caused a dip in the transparency survey results. The number of election returns processed was already at 92.89 percent as of 5:20 a.m. but suddenly went down to 49.76 percent at around 6:21 a.m.

Casquejo said this was merely a "java error," and that it affected all media networks and organizations sourcing data from the transparency server. —KBK, GMA News