Nam­frel says 1 M votes still not trans­mit­ted

Sun Star Bacolod - - Top Stories -

NEARLY 2,000 elec­tion re­turns (ER) with about a mil­lion votes, as­sum­ing a 75 per­cent voter turnout, have not been trans­mit­ted through the Com­elec Trans­parency Server as of Wed­nes­day morn­ing, May 15.

Elec­tion watch­dog Na­tional Ci­ti­zens’ Move­ment for Free Elec­tions (Nam­frel) said the un­ac­counted num­ber of votes is large enough to re­order the po­si­tions in the se­na­to­rial race, es­pe­cially the 10th to 14th ranks.

As of 10:16 a.m. Wed­nes­day, Nam­frel said in a state­ment that the re­sults in the par­tial and un­of­fi­cial se­na­to­rial count in the Com­mis­sion on Elec­tions (Com­elec) Trans­parency Server cov­ered 97.75 per­cent or 83,842 of the lo­cal ERS from across the coun­try.

This means 2.25 per­cent of 85,769 lo­cal ERS are not yet in­cluded in the count.

“The de­lay in the trans­mis­sion of ERS could be due to vote-counting ma­chine (VCM) mal­func­tion, Se­cure Dig­i­tal (SD) card is­sues, trans­mis­sion is­sues, or other fac­tors,” Nam­frel said.

“Com­elec mu­nic­i­pal and provin­cial elec­tion of­fi­cers should ex­ert all ef­forts to trans­mit un­re­ported ERS to re­duce the 2.25 per­cent untransmit­ted ERS be­cause the num­bers are crit­i­cal in the se­na­to­rial con­test where the fig­ures among those in Num­bers 10 to 14 po­si­tions are very close,” the watch­dog added.

The fig­ure, 2.25 per­cent of 85,769, is equiv­a­lent to 1,930 untransmit­ted lo­cal ERS and 1,043,721 votes, as­sum­ing a 75 per­cent turnout of vot­ers.

The mar­gin of votes be­tween the cur­rent 10th to the 14th plac­ers now stands at 398,000, well within the 1,043,721 un­ac­counted votes.

Ex­plain­ing how the 1,043,221 votes was de­rived, Nam­frel said it di­vided the To­tal Num­ber of Vot­ers na­tion­wide 61,843,750 by To­tal Num­ber of Clus­tered Precincts 85,769 equals 721 av­er­age num­ber of vot­ers per clus­tered precinct.

At a 75 per­cent turnout rate, there is an av­er­age 541 votes per ER. If there are still 1,930 untransmit­ted ERS with 541 votes per ER, the un­re­ported votes to­tal 1,043,721.

“Untransmit­ted ERS are a peren­nial prob­lem in the coun­try’s Au­to­mated Elec­tion Sys­tem (AES),” Nam­frel said.

In the past elec­tions, the failed trans­mis­sion rates were 9.5 per­cent of 76,528 elec­tion re­turns in 2010, 24 per­cent of 78,193 elec­tion re­turns in 2013, and 3.5 per­cent of 92,506 elec­tion re­turns in 2016.

“Com­elec has re­peat­edly stated that these miss­ing ERS were even­tu­ally “ag­gre­gated” in the fi­nal count although the process of ag­gre­ga­tion was not opened to the pub­lic,” Nam­frel said.

“In this elec­tion how­ever, not only should the 2.25 per­cent untransmit­ted rate be re­duced to the low­est level pos­si­ble, but Com­elec should also open the ag­gre­ga­tion pro­ce­dure to the po­lit­i­cal par­ties, elec­tion mon­i­tor­ing bodies and to the gen­eral pub­lic. Ev­ery vote counts,” it added.

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