Long lines, busted machines irk voters in Iloilo

Published May 13, 2019, 6:39 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Tara Yap 

ILOILO CITY—The long lines of voters and malfunctioning machines irked voters in this city during Monday’s polls.

Florentina Genova, an 82-year-old, from Jaro district said she was already at the precinct by 8 a.m. However, she wasn’t able to vote until 10:45 a.m. even though there is an express lane. She said it was not like this in previous elections, when everything when smoothly.

Manila Bulletin also came across Zenith Delmo, who was cradling her grandson to sleep while waiting for her to turn to go inside the designated precinct. She said the two-year-old toddler was left by the parents who were in another precinct.

Tomas, who withheld his last name, was fuming mad for having been at the polling place for almost three hours. He said he thought he could quickly vote and then report to his work. “Na usikan oras ko diri (I’m wasting my time here),” he lamented.

There were also numerous vote registration verifying machines (VRVMs) and vote counting machines (VCMs) that malfunctioned.

Herman Lagon, a high school principal for a Catholic school in this city, lamented how the VCM wrongly read his ballot. Lagon said he saw that his vote for senatorial candidate Mar Roxas did not register in his voter’s receipt. He formally filed a complaint before Comelec.

Atty. Mavil Majarucon-Sia noted that only 18 VCMs malfunctioned and were replaced while
20-percent of the VRVMs malfunctioned that led to manual verification of voters.

On the other hand, the increase in the number of clustered precincts also contributed to the delay of voting.

A board of election inspector (BEI), who requested anonymity, told Manila Bulletin that one room is serving seven voting precincts.

“That’s why it is very slow,” she said.