Comelec to release error logs from transparency server, says watchdog

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2019 11:59 AM | Updated as of May 15 2019 12:26 PM

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FROM ZERO TO 90 PERCENT: The Commission on Elections has committed to release election data logs from the transparency server to dispel concerns following the 7-hour delay in the display of electronically transmitted results of the May 13 polls, election watchdog Legal Network for Truthful Elections said Wednesday. 

"Matatagalan po 'yan. Hopefully, in the weeks to come. Kailangan nating bantayan, baka mamaya magkalimutan lang, makalimutan din ng Comelec ang commitment nila," LENTE Executive Director Ona Caritos told radio DZMM. 

Caritos said this would be the first time that the Comelec would release error logs.

"In previous elections po pag hinihingi 'yan 'di po nila nirerelease kaya may silver lining po tayo sa nangyari nung Monday night. Ngayon, pwersado ang Comelec na mag release ng mga log to ensure 'yung trust ng mga tao sa system," she said.

On Monday evening, people expressed alarm as the PPCRV and media’s unofficial tallies were not updated since it received votes from 0.38 percent of clustered precincts by 6:15 p.m. 

Around 11 p.m. Monday, the Comelec faced media to explain that there was an error in the application that is supposed to push data from the transparency server to the terminals of the PPCRV and media networks.

The transparency server then pushed out data at 1:19 a.m Tuesday, May 14, showing partial and unofficial tallies based on 90.57% of clustered precincts.

"Wala pong nagko-communicate' yung crucial period nung 6 p.m. hanggang 1 a.m. Walang official message coming from the Comelec kaya 'yung mga tao nagiisip," Caritos said.

Caritos urged Comelec to be more transparent in letting the public know about the problems it encountered during the conduct of the elections.

The election watchdog has yet to issue their own assessment of Monday's polls but noted that the primary concerns were about the breakdown of the vote counting machines and voter registration verification machines as well as defective SD cards. 

On Tuesday, Comelec Commissioner Sheriff Abas revealed that about 1,000 VCMs malfunctioned and 1,665 SD cards were defective on the day of the election.

Caritos said one VCM could accommodate a thousand voters. However, they do not have data on how many were disenfranchised because of this, or how many left the polling centers without voting first due to the delay.

While Comelec assured that a contingency plan was in place, Caritos questioned if the defective machines were immediately replaced that allowed for more voters to vote.

"Assurance nila sa atin mayroong botohan na nangyari sa mga lugar na may nasirang makina kasi walang failure of election," she said.

Aside from the machines, the Comelec also encountered problems with the marking pens used in shading ballots.

"Nangyari po ngayong 2019, in-outsource to different suppliers...and hindi masyadong napaghandaan is 'yung compatibility nung iba't ibang mga gamit na 'yan," she said.

She said there is a need to rethink if the multi-supplier strategy would still work if the country is going automated again in the next election.