25 January 2016, 8:30 pm – IN A BID to hasten the counting of votes in the upcoming national elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has procured new Vote Counting Machines, with new features demonstrated before the media on Monday.

The machine’s new features include ultraviolet security stamps, three
digital signatures, and the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT)–a paper
slip verifying if votes were cast correctly.

“Vote-counting will
be faster and easier because the machines will process the election reports,”
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said in a roadshow at the Pope Pius XII
Catholic Center in Paco, Manila.

In an interactive
demonstration, Jimenez showed the proper use of the machine’s screens in verifying the
voters’ final list.

The tallying machines will still
accept slightly crumpled ballots, he said.

But Comelec
Chairman Andres Bautista said a vote for a candidate won’t be counted if any
mark besides the fully shaded circle was detected on a ballot.

The Board of Election Inspectors will
assist voters on the day of elections but will not be allowed to hold the
voters’ ballots.

Jimenez said bringing of cellphones
inside the voting area was allowed, but the taking of photos and videos during
the voting process would be prohibited.

The Comelec will distribute the machines by
February. M. M. Hernandez


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