The Commission on Elections in Region 7 has opened a demonstration center for the use of the Precinct Count Optical Scan, or PCOS, machines at SM City, Cebu.
The Comelec PCOS demonstration center will remain at the mall until April 30 and is part of its voter education drive.
Election officer Bernard de los Reyes said people who go to the mall may try using the machines. He said one problem observed in the last elections involved the elderly with poor eyesight, who have difficulties shading the oval near a candidate’s name.
De los Reyes said that, to ensure that the PCOS machine will accept the ballot, at least 50 percent of the oval must be shaded, and reminded voters to always check the ballot handed to them by the Board of Election Inspectors for markings.
Ballots with markings, even ink smudges, must be returned, he said.
Doreen Marigomen, PCOS demo team member, said the “timing mark,” the black markings on the sides of the ballot, should not be written on, otherwise it will be rejected by the machine.
The machine will also reject the ballot if the shading is not clear, or the ballot is damaged or torn.
The machine will also likely misread the ballot if its identification is not registered.
De los Reyes said ballot identification is defined per clustered precinct so it cannot be used in machines for other areas.
Voters should not leave until the machine flashes the word “congratulations,” de los Reyes also said.*PNA
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