The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is conducting final testing and sealing (FTS) of the precinct count optical scan or PCOS machines in several poll centers in the Philippines. According to the poll commission, the field testing were done successfully despite a pending lawsuit filed by civil societygroups over the use of the PCOS machines in the coming national elections.
The FTS included printing of the test election returns for national and local candidates, confirming the results generated by the machine with a manual count and sealing the machine following a successful test. Some questions arose when an “X” mark was counted in by the machine, which is possible according to poll officials. Despite all these glitches and controversies surrounding the PCOS machine, COMELEC assures that the elections will go on smoothly. However, the COMELEC’s assurance, the voting public still has doubts and worries over the voting process.
As the whole process is automated, proper procedures must be done to ensure that votes will be counted. Here are the guidelines on how to vote using the PCOS machine
- Check your name in the list of voters in your respective precinct.
- Bring your voter’s ID (or any valid ID) on the day of elections. Present it to the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) in your assigned precinct, to verify your identity.
- Bring a kodigo of your candidates to make it easier for you to remember who to vote for. Only one
- Be at your precinct the earliest possible. Poll precincts are open by 7:00 AM and close at 6:00 PM.
- Check the ballot given before proceeding with the shading process. Make sure that it has no mark or dirt. Report it to the BEI should you find any so your ballot.
- Make sure you line up at the correct machine. Your ballot will only be read by one specific PCOS Unit to which it was pre-registered
- Use only the PCOS pen provided to you by the BEI.
- Shade within the outline of the circle corresponding to your candidate of choice completely.
- Insert the filled up ballot to the PCOS machine.
- After voting, make sure to have your fingernail marked with indelible ink.
- Ask assistance from the BEI whenever needed.
- Do not over shade.
- Do not over vote, otherwise the machine will not count all your votes from that position. For example, voters should shade not more than 12 ovals in choosing up to 12 senators. This may result to all of your votes for the senatorial position not being counted by the machine.
- Do not put any mark on the ballot. It may result to machine error and your chance to vote gets void.
- Do not check, line, cross, dot or half-shade the circles corresponding to your candidate of choice.
- Do not fold the ballot.
An infographic on the “guidelines on how to vote using PCOS machine” was also provided by GMA News.TV during the May 2010 presidential elections, which was the first automated elections in the Philippines.
How to vote using the PCOS machine on May 13 elections