QUEZON City, May 13, 2013—The first try was certainly not the last for dozens of people at Cluster Precinct no. 846 in Teachers’ Village East in Quezon City as their accomplished ballots were repeatedly rejected by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machine. Succeeding attempts proved successful, however, as representatives from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) assisted the voters.
By 2:00 p.m., the queue at the polling center had started to build up after several instances of ballots being rejected by the machine. Iya Mendiola persisted, however, and on the fourth attempt, the “Congratulations” message flashed across the PCOS machine.
“We were told that we can try till the fourth time. Fortunately, my ballot made it on the fourth try,” the Quezon City resident said.
Mendiola’s father, however, patiently waited a while after being asked to take a seat when his ballot was rejected after the fourth attempt. After several other voters were accommodated, he again attempted to run his ballot through the PCOS machine, succeeding on the eight attempt.
In polling centers in neighboring U.P. Village, however, voting took place relatively smoothly, with hardly any queues in sight and with no breakdowns or rejections involving PCOS machines. PPCRV and village volunteers readily assisted senior citizens, enabling them and other voters to be done with the procedure in minutes. (Diana Uichanco)