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Comelec: Number of defective VCMs within acceptable range

Comelec: Number of defective VCMs within acceptable range

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The number of vote counting machines that malfunctioned in Monday’s midterm elections was still “within range,” a Commission on Elections official said.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the poll body would analyze all the different failures encountered as far as the machines were concerned.

“What we see right now is 400 to 600 machines, and instances it could go higher. I don’t know yet, but so far that’s all that has been reported. That is a small figure out of 85,000 VCMs. So it seems to me it’s still within the range,” Jimenez said.

He said he was not discounting the possibility that some machines did not function because they were no longer brand new as they were first used in the 2016 polls.

“We will know when we analyze the different failures that we are seeking. Again, within the range of what is expected in terms of the number of machines. I don’t think we are far from the expected range,” Jimenez said.

The Comelec has around 9,000 contingency VCMs.

“These are already used. But we are the only ones who used it. These are now being used for the second time,” jimenez said.

In 2017, the Comelec purchased the 97,517 VCM units for P2.1 billion that were used in the last national and local polls.

The machines were acquired after exercising the option-to-purchase (OTP) in the poll body's 2016 lease contract with Smartmatic International, the service provider in the country’s past elections -- 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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