Voting Turnout In Soccsksargen Reaches 74.3%

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) 12 (Soccsksargen) declared a “good” voting turnout of 74.3 percent in the region in Monday’s local and national mid-term elections.

Lawyer Jose Villanueva, Comelec-12 assistant director, said Wednesday data gathered from local election offices showed that some 1.8 million of the 2,431,265 registered voters in the area were able to cast their votes.

Villanueva said the figure was higher that their voting projection of 65 percent to 70 percent for the entire region.

“That’s a good turnout. It’s a true reflection of the people exercising their mandate to select their own leaders,” he told reporters here.

Villanueva said that despite the glitches encountered with the vote counting machines (VCMs) and secure digital (SD) cards, the conduct of the polls in the area was generally successful.

He said they achieved their main objective of making sure that voting in all precincts would proceed and there would be no failure of elections.

Villanueva clarified that majority of the deployed VCMs were “actually functional” and the problems were with the defective SD cards.

He explained that the SD cards function like subscriber identification modules or phone sim cards and carry the program that allows the VCMs to count and transmit the votes.

Removing the SD cards will turn the VCMs into “generic machines” and unusable for the voting, he said.

As of Tuesday night, he said their records showed that “only less than twenty” VCMs actually malfunctioned and at least 50 SD cards were found defective.

He said the corrupt SD cards caused delays in the canvassing of votes and proclamation of winning candidates in parts of the region.

The affected areas included three municipalities in Sarangani, this city and Koronadal City in South Cotabato.

“But looking at the whole picture, we’re still better off because the defective SD cards in other regions even reached more than 100,” he said.

Villanueva said they are currently collating the data regarding the glitches with the VCMs and SD cards, as well as other issues and challenges that they faced during the elections.

He said they will report them to their central office during the scheduled management committee meeting next month. (PNA)

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