Malfunctioning CF cards may delay proclamation of the Philippines election winners.


Malfunctioning compact flash (CF) cards may be the reason why some precincts across the Philippines were unable to immediately transmit election results to the city or municipal board of canvassers through automated poll machines.

This was disclosed by Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Jose Melo on Tuesday after only four of the country’s 80 provinces were able to transmit their certificates of canvass (COC) to the Comelec.

As a result, the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) was prompted to declare a recess on Tuesday and resume on Wednesday morning.

“Kung minsan ang isang municipality may kulang na isa or dalawang presinto. Hindi 100 percent. Hindi makapaggenerate ng proclamation. It delays the whole process. (Sometimes, one municipality doesn’t have the results for one or two precincts. That’s the reason why we can’t proclaim winners immediately),” Melo told reporters in a chance interview.

CF cards provide instructions to automated poll machines on how to read a ballot and transmit election results to the municipal or city board of canvassers.

But since some precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines in some parts of the country had defective CF cards, counting and transmission was delayed, he said.

The Comelec, sitting as the NBOC, will base its proclamation of election winners on the COCs that will be sent by the Provincial Board of Convassers (PBC). The PBC will in turn receive COCs from the city and municipal board of canvassers.

On the other hand, Congress, also sitting as the NBOC, will serve as the canvassing board for the position of president and vice president. They are set to convene on May 31.

Manual count?

The Comelec will probably count the votes for areas with dysfunctional CF cards manually because there is not enough time to replace the flash cards, he said.

Last week, some PCOS machines failed to read some votes accurately, forcing the Comelec to pull out and replace all the compact flash (CF) cards in the voting machines.

Melo, however, could not immediately identify the specific areas where the CF cards malfunctioned or where these were not immediately replaced.

“Titingnan ko nga ang ARMM ngayon. Pero yung problema yun it seems to be widespread sa mga kunyari saCentral Luzon, Pangasinan, and in other places (I will look into ARMM. But I think the problem seems to be widespread, even reaching areas in Central Luzon like Pangasinan),” he said.

Comelec Law Department head Ferdinand Rafanan said that he has also received reports of dysfunctional CF cards in Nueva Ecija, Zambales. and Oriental Mindoro.

Earlier in the day, the poll body chief said they will not proclaim the election winners unless all canvassed results are in.

Owing to issues caused by CF cards, the Comelec will probably lower the threshold of the number of results needed to declare the winners to 98 percent, Melo said.

“Pagdating ng panahon makocomplete na yon, saka na idadagdag (When we have completed the results, that’s when we will add them all up),” he said.

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