Yesterday was already a history that really marked all of us Filipinos for the very first Automated Electoral System here in the Philippines. A lot of rumors were spreading that due to lack of knowledge and awareness about this new system, a lot of votes will be
rejected. I know the Commission of Elections have done their job well in implementing this new electoral system through the help of media, but as human as we are, we committed mistakes due to our carelessness.
Just yesterday, at around 11 a.m. when I was still in the line for voting, I met this adult woman who just went outside from the precinct and had her child at my back (a voter too) said that her vote was not counted (PCOS Machine had rejected her ballot) due to accidentally putting an undistinguished mark on her ballot. On that time, I thought that this voting process is somehow challenging even its just a matter of shading knowing " STRICTLY one ballot per voter and another one will not be issued in case there's a mistake". And its really my first time to see a real Precinct Count Optical Scan Machine when I entered the precinct, for I haven't attended any seminar or orientation regarding the proper voting because I am bit confident that I can gain it through a research or reading articles in the internet. And I guess I am right, for my vote has been successfully counted by the PCOS Machine. But before I went to the voting area, I saw those
rejected ballots, and I am thinking maybe these ballots will be counted manually after all people have finished voting. (just a hypothesis).
That night, as I am excited to know the result of the voting process, I went right away to the different precincts in our barangay. When I arrived, I immediately look for the election results which were taped outside the room and have found out that in our barangay, NOYMAR tandem got the highest votes against their opponents. I also witnessed a teacher who tore up the unmarked, unshaded or unused ballots that were supposedly for those voters who haven't voted for this election. After that, I met this watcher who is a friend of mine and we have a talk for a few minutes. I interrogated him about the rejected ballots (meaning those ballots that were not accepted by the PCOS Machine) that if its still be counted on the final counting before transmitting it to the COMELEC. He just answered me "A big NO!". Well probably, I doubt if its true, because if that so, then I feel pity to those voters who really sacrificed their time and effort in voting then in the end their votes will just be neglected by the PCOS Machine.
Since I am not yet convinced by the answer of my friend, I researched it through the internet and have found this news, that says that the Commission of Elections has rejected Thursday the proposed parallel manual count this May 10 elections. I don't know if it connects what I hesitate to know about the rejected ballots, if its still be counted, but it seems sounds like yes, because only those ballots accepted by the PCOS Machine will be printed out and will be transmitted to the COMELEC for the final counting. (correct me if I'm wrong!)