Saying time was running out for the task of refurbishing the 82,000 Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines, a lawmaker on Wednesday pushed for a hybrid system of elections for May 2016. “It will be manual voting and automated canvassing,” Bayan Muna partylist Representative Neri Colmenares said at the regular news conference of the minority bloc at the House of Representatives. “With this, there is no need for billions of pesos and sophisticated technology,” he added. What will be needed are laptops and a secured program that will be used to canvass the total number of votes from the precinct level up to the national level, according to Colmenares. “The checks and balance will be at the canvassing of votes at the precinct level, because people will know the results there,” he said.
The hybrid system would be best for the elections next year, Colmenares stressed, amid the controversy on the re-use of the PCOS machines.
“If we go back to manual, we see cheating there; If we go back to automation, we will not see how cheating is done,” he said.
Last month, the Supreme Court nullified the Commission on Elections contract with Smartmatic for the refurbishment and repair of the 82,000 PCOS machines because it did not go through regular public bidding.