We are spending P7.2 billion to lease these “smart automatic” machines. It turns out that they are not so smart after all. In fact, they seem downright stupid.
They can’t recognize a check mark or a cross. They can’t recognize ballpen or pencil marks. They need full, dark shadings to be convinced that you want to mark an oval. Isn’t that stupid?
When the security marks were misaligned by a mere one to two millimeters, the machines had trouble finding them. They were making so many mistakes that Smartmatic decided to forget “smart automatic” and go back to manual instead. They will just give election inspectors ultraviolet lamps; the inspectors will shine the lamp on each ballot and decide after an ocular inspection if the ballot is authentic or not. Still better than a dumb machine that can’t find the security mark.
A few days before the May 10 elections, these “smart automatic” machines are supposed to be unsealed for a final test in the field by election inspectors. Reports are now flooding in that many can’t read some of the marks, and can’t count some of the votes. Read the reports:
- Human error caused PCOS machines malfunction — Smartmatic
- Filipino poll panel allays concerns about faulty voting machines
- Glitch grounds poll devices
- 808 poll machines in Batangas encounter problems
- Special report — automated election
- Philippine vote counting machines malfunction in final tests
- No end to ‘horror’ tales 6 days to polls
- Error force Comelec to reset PCOS testing
- Smartmatic admits error in configuring PCOS flash cards
- Local bets get zero votes as PCOS machines malfunction
- Smartmatic assumes responsibility for PCOS machine glitches
- Defective data cards for poll machines recalled
- Smartmatic postpones testing and sealing of PCOS machines
- Smartmatic explains PCOS failure
- First Philippines automated election suffers technical glitches
For the sake of our elections, let us all hope and pray that these problems will be solved before May 10.