Partial manual audit shows PCOS vote count accurate – Comelec

VERA Files
Tinig Ng Botante

By VERA Files

The Commission on Elections will need more than a week to come up with its final report on the random manual audit (RMA) of the votes cast in the May 13 elections, but says initial findings show that results of the precinct count optical scan machines had 99.9 per cent accuracy.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Thursday they have yet to receive ballot boxes from 60-70 congressional districts, causing a delay in the release of the final report on the RMA, which is intended to check the accuracy of the votes counted by the PCOS machines.

The poll chief, however, said partial RMA results show 99.9 percent accuracy in the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) count.

“Well, it says that the PCOS machine is okay. In fact, it has always been okay. Only some of those who have doubts have been saying it is not okay. Everything has been okay all the while,” he told reporters.

The random manual audit committee (RMAC) has opened around 160 to 170 of the 234 ballot boxes, Brillantes said. “Humingi sila ng extension dahil nahuli nga ang mga deliveries (They are asking for an extension because the deliveries were delayed).” The final report on the RMA will likely be released by June 25th at the latest.

The Comelec chairman also said at least three ballot boxes will not be immediately retrieved since local courts have issued protection orders due to election protests. He did not specify the affected precincts.

“We’re still working on some arrangements with the (regional trial courts).”

Under RA 9369 or the Automation Law, the random manual audit is required in at least one clustered precinct for every congressional district. The law also says a 99.995 percent accuracy of the PCOS count should be met.

Brillantes, however explained the law does not require the 99.995 percent since the percentage is already almost “perfect”. “There’s no such thing as perfect in the random (manual audit),” he said. - Mikha Flores

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for “true”.)