Monday, April 12, 2010

Comelec ?90% ready? for automated elections

With just a month to go, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced Sunday it was 90 percent ready to conduct the country’s first nationwide automated balloting on May 10.

The remaining tasks involved mainly the delivery of election paraphernalia, said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.

He told reporters that the commission might set up a “situation room” where the progress of the delivery of ballot boxes, counting machines and other election materials would be tracked and monitored.

“We’re thinking of coming up with a monitoring facility here centrally located where we—I mean the Comelec, the administrators as well as, of course, members of the media—will be able to monitor the arrivals and the progress of the various materials that we’re transporting,” Jimenez said.

“It will be I think a very very useful tool for the public to keep informed of the progress of the election.”

Jimenez also said that the major components of the elections, such as the ballot boxes and the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, had been manufactured and were in the poll body's custody.

“Considering that all the major elements in conducting an election are already in place, I would say we are about 90 percent ready to conduct the elections. The fact that we’ve already started elections for the overseas absentee voting, that’s already a good sign for us,” he said.

The delivery of the ballot boxes and the PCOS machines has already begun, with the Comelec focusing first on the far-flung areas, Jimenez said.

“Over the next few weeks, we would be looking at the deliveries. That’s where we need to focus our attention, making sure that these elements arrive on time and in the proper order,” he said.

The delivery of the other election paraphernalia, such as the pens, would come at a later date.

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