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Frank E. Dosdos, Jr.
Marawi City, Lanao del Sur

February 14, 2016

Mock elections were held in two barangays of the Islamic City of Marawi, February 13, by a team composed of COMELEC and Smartmatic representatives.

At Marawi Pilot School in Moncado Colony and Moncado Kadingilan Elementry School where the elections were held, 94 voters of the two barangays voted.

The New Ranao Star witnessed the voting that simultaneously started at 9:30 in the morning.

In the Marawi Pilot School, the voting ended at 10:50 A.M. where 92 ballots were accepted by the machine and 2 were spoiled.

91 were accepted and 3 were spoiled at Kadingilan Elementary School where voting ended at 11:00 A.M.

COMELEC Central Office Lawyer April Rose Mabanes told The New Ranao Star that the mock elections were intended to familiarize the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) on the operation of the new Vote Counting Machines and accessories and transmission procedures.

It was learned that the new machines are slightly different from the PCOS used in the previous elections.

Smarmatic technicians doing the demonstration said the process flow in the new machine is similar to PECOS. However, the viewing screen is bigger and a broadband is now used for faster transmission even in places far from cell sites.

The new machine is also provided with a dry cell battery good for 12 operating hours to be able work even in areas where no electric power is available, it was also said.

On the day before, members of the Board of Election Inspectors had an orientation on checking up the accessories, setting up and operating the machines and using the prescribed forms.

The orientation was done in the Office of the Division of City Schools under the auspices of Schools Division Superintendent Mona A. Macatanong who also attended the orientation together with her staff and teachers who would serve in the May 2016 Elections.

Marawi Election Officer Joyce Moran and Election Barangay Affairs of Comelec Manny Tibigar were also present.

In Barangay Kadingilan, Chairman Puno Umpar told The New Ranao Star that before the mock elections his constituents were doubtful about the machines.

Umpar said that after the voting he and most of those who voted observed that the system is fool-proof at the precinct level.

He added that the Vote Counting Machine has improved the impression of the voters on the sanctity of Elections.

It was learned that Umpar is running as an Independent Councilor in the forthcoming May Elections. TNRS
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