- Various vote counting machine (VCM) glitches reported nationwide to have caused delay and congestion during the May 9 elections
- As of 2PM on May 9, 2016, Comelec has replaced 150 malfunctioning VCMs
- Poll Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said Comelec also explored the idea of extending the voting hours due to the delays
Vote counting machine (VCM) malfunctions nationwide was reported since the polls opened at 6 AM for the May 9 elections.
According to the citizen journalists of Rappler’s May 9 2016 PH Vote Watch, VCM glitches were noted from several localities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
In Lucban, Quezon, local Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) gave the voters the option to either cast their votes and let the officials feed the ballots later in their behalf or wait until the VCMs are replaced. Sadly, about 4,000 voters in the vicinity were unable to vote due to their names missing from the list of voters despite having Voter IDs. Roy Cabungcal, Lucban municipal ICT admin, said this was caused by a local database error that occurred on April 29 2016.
Voters of the municipality have organized a protest asking for a declaration of failure of elections in Lucban.
As mentioned in an article by GMA News Online, a VCM scanner in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan repeatedly rejects several ballots as early as 8:30 AM. Meanwhile, in Nueva Ecija distribution of ballots were halted as they were transported using personal cars instead of deputized vehicles.
Voters in Abuyog, Leyte were still unable to vote 3 hours since the polls opened due to a non-functional VCM.
In Davao City, failure in printing receipts were reported.
As of 2 PM on May 9, 2016, The Commission on Elections (Comelec) have replaced 150 VCMs. Aside from replacing the VCMs, as cited by Ruth Gita in a published article on Sunstar, the Comelec have also explored the possibility of extending the voting hours.
Poll Commissioner Rowena Guanzon told reporters at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City: “Let’s stay calm because we try to anticipate all the problems. Although not all problems have not been anticipated, we can solve that. All employees of Comelec are prepared, they are prepared because it’s like history repeats itself, they already experienced that so they know what to do,” she said.