By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) found 192 defective vote counting machines (VCMs) in Western Visayas during Monday’s polls.
“That’s a very small percentage considering the region has 7,109 VCMs,” noted Atty. Jose Nick Mendros, Comelec-6 regional director.
These VCMs were spread across 3,554 voting centers in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces.
There were also several vote registration verifying machines (VRVMs) that experienced technical glitches as it was not able to read voters’ data. That led to manual checking, which was one of the reasons why there were long lines of voters.
The increase of clustered precincts also posed another major problem. For instance, a single room was catering to seven separate voting precincts.
Another problem was that 220 ballots intended for voters in San Enrique town of Negros Occidental province ended up in Anilao town of Iloilo province. This problem was later solved when the ballots were delivered to San Enrique.
“But overall, the election in Western Visayas was successful,” added Mendros.
The Police Regional Office (PRO-6) also noted peaceful elections despite the fact that the town of Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental was under Comelec control.
“Fortunately, there was no major criminal incident,” said Police Brigadier General John Bulalacao, PRO-6 director.
Based on PRO-6 data, criminal incidents also decreased this election as compared to the May 2016 elections.