Watchdogs call for investigation of “poll irregularities”

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MANILA, Philippines—Despite the fast tallying and transmission of the May 10 election results, poll watchdog groups Sunday said it was too soon for the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to claim sweet victory.

In a statement, the election watchdog Kontra Daya said the elections were “fraught with problems,” and called for an probe into irregularities noted before and during Election Day.

The group urged the Comelec to look into the distribution of “faulty” compact flash (CF) cards on Election Day which delayed the voting and transmission of results; the failure of several Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) to use UV (ultraviolet) lamps to verify the authenticity of the ballots; the actual number of reported disenfranchised voters; and the many reports of malfunctioning precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.

“While it is acknowledged that the transmission and initial tallying of results were fast, the whole automated process was fraught with problems,” the group’s statement said.

On the non-use of UV lamps, Kontra Daya noted that the Comelec spent P30 million on the lamps to strengthen security after problems in the printing of the ballots made it difficult for the PCOS machines to read the security marks.

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