MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday said the mock elections for the automated Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) was a success.
Comelec held the mock polls from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. in 3 pilot areas: Barangay Paliparan III and Barangay Zone II in Dasmarinas City, Cavite; and Barangay Pasong Tamo in Quezon City.
All of the voters in Paliparan Elementary school said the process was easy, even though some experienced paper jams when they tried to feed their ballot in the Vote Counting Machine (VCM).
They had to readjust the paper for their ballot to be accepted and counted.
Because there were only 50 voters in the single precinct used in the mock elections, the process was smooth, said the Comelec.
Comelec Spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said the project was a success. The canvassing of votes was also manageable.
The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) which observed the mock elections, said automated elections for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan level is doable.
This year’s BSKE is set on October 30 and will be manual except for the 3 pilot sites. This is in preparation for the December 2025 BSKE which the Comelec hopes to make fully automated.
Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia said making the BSKE automated would make it possible to have the results an hour after the precincts close. This is compared to manual voting which usually lasts until late night.
The old VCMs used in the 2022 elections will still be used on October 30, which was why Garcia said he was not ruling out problems.
He assured, however, that each precinct will have a backup VCM. Of the more than 98,000 machines, only 1,000 remain functional.
The poll body said it would procure new machines for the May 2025 midterm elections, but would need a supplemental budget of around P18 billion for the December BSKE since this was not part of the agency's 2024 budget.