A NEW feature of the machines that voters will use on May 13 is designed to remove one more doubt on the results of the elections.
As soon as the board of election inspectors (BEI) switches on the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS), the machine will immediately require that the date be entered.
The date will also be reflected in the election returns.
Provincial Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde said this is one new feature that was brought up during the training of the PCOS trainers, which started last Feb. 25 and will end today.
Gujilde said this is another way to erase doubts among voters and candidates.
In the May 2010 elections, which was the first time elections in the Philippines were partially automated, some of the election returns were not dated, which led candidates to doubt the results.
Gujilde clarified, however, that the absence of the date did not affect the election results.
"That's the beauty of automation, because even if the PCOS units fail, we still have the manual results to refer to," Gujilde said.
If the BEI has to cancel the date-setting, Gujilde said there will be other queries from the machine as follow-up. He also assured the PCOS units are user-friendly, and that BEIs need not worry about them.
Earlier, the Provincial Comelec announced that priority numbers will no longer be given on Election Day, to prevent accusations that BEIs favor certain voters or candidates.
The BEIs, however, are still given the freedom to decide how to manage the lines and crowds in their precincts.
Gujilde also reminded voters to check their ballots upon receiving these from the BEI.
If there is any ink smudge or unusual print, they can have the ballot replaced by the BEI.
"There are no second chances (once the ballot has been filled up). One voter, one ballot," he said.
The training sessions for election supervisors, officers, assistants, and personnel of the Department of Education and Department of Science and Technology will be on March 3, 4 and 5.