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100,000 pairs of scissors to avoid delays in May elections

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is hoping 100,000 pairs of scissors would prevent delays in the May 9.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said scissors may help the poll body solve the possibility of frequent paper jams as the vote-counting machines (VCMs) print vote receipts on election day.

"Naghahanap tayo ng mga paraan kung papaanong mababawasan, mami-mitigate ang mga risk na ito. So ilan sa mga ginawa namin, ito nga, sa paper jam, nagsimula na rin kami ng bidding para sa gunting," Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista announced Friday.

The announcement came a day after the Supreme Court junked the poll body's petition against its earlier order to enable the VCMs' feature to vote receipts.

SC Public Information Office chief and spokesman Theodore Te said the magistrated voted unanimously to junk the petition.

The poll body had said that the VCMs may frequently experience paper jams because its built-in cutters are not heavy duty and voters may not know how to properly rip off vote receipts.

Bautista said that the scissors should be priced at P12 each, a total of P1.2 million for 100,000 pairs.

He also announced that the poll body is bidding out a supply contract for 92,509 plastic receptacles, each priced at P300 or a total of P27,752,700.

After reviewing the vote receipts, the voters will be asked to drop these to the receptacles before leaving the polling places.

"Meron nang prototype na ipinakita sa atin. Mag-uumpisa na rin ang bidding diyan," Bautista said.

The receptacles' prototypes are white boxes that bear the Comelec's logo.

There are suggestions for the Comelec to use the old yellow ballot boxes, but its officials said they cannot use these because they contain old ballots and other documents that cannot be removed.

The poll body has also begun calling out for bids for at least 1.1 million rolls of thermal paper for the vote receipts.

Bautista said they require that the paper to turn red when the roll is about to run out.

"Ang pinahabol [na requirement] ay dapat sa bandang dulo, nagiging red na para alam ng BEI (Board of Election Inspector) na nauubos na 'yung papel, para hindi na hihintaying maubos. Dapat palitan na niya para mabawasan ang issue ng paper jam," he said.

He said each roll should be able to print 60 receipts. —ALG, GMA News


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