UV lamps, not PCOS machines to verify ballots

UV lamps, not PCOS machines to verify ballots
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Poll inspectors at precinct level will read ballots using handheld ultraviolet (UV) lamps to verify their authenticity, instead of using the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines in the country’s first automated polls on May 10.

In a report by GMANews.TV, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said yesterday ultraviolet markings on the ballots had failed to align with the speed of printing, making it hard for machines to read the ballots.

Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said inspectors instead would read the ballots’ ultraviolet markings through manual means by using an ultraviolet (UV) lamp to be sure the voting papers are authentic,

He said the move would be another step in the voting process, as ballots’ authenticity would be checked manually.

Larrazabal, head of the Comelec steering committee on automation, said the Board of Election Inspectors would use UV lamps to show the voters that their ballots are authentic before they vote.

“That is so easy,” he said.

He explained there are other security features that would prove the authenticity of the ballot.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said that the usual security features include a unique ballot paper, the poll body’s own UV ink, a bar code, Comelec markings, and the unique precinct-based numbers on the ballot.

The Liberal Party (LP), however, was suspicious of the move.

“Why did they turn off the scanner of the machine? We have strong reservations about it,” said LP campaign manager Florencio Abad in a press conference in Intramuros, Manila.

He said people might become disoriented with this additional voting step.

“If you look at the process, you can more or less imagine the confusion and the chaos,” Abad told GMANews.TV.

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.