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Comelec: Midterm polls 'not problem-free but generally successful’

MANILA, Philippines— Commission on Elections spokesperson James Jimenez on Monday said the 2019 midterm elections was generally successful despite glitches encountered.

Jimenez described the 2019 polls as a “mixed bag”, admitting that “there seem to be a lot of problems” encountered during the conduct of the polls.

"We think it's generally successful. However, there are some issues, there are some problems that we are addressing as they are happening and I think that's the important takeaway here,” Jimenez told the reporters in a press briefing.

“These elections might be a little problematic because of all the glitches that we are encountering but we are resolving those issues and that I think is the main thing,” he added.

'So far, we have not met an unsolvable problem'

Jimenez stressed the importance of how the problems encountered are being solved.

“So far, we have not met an unsolvable problem which means that everything is happening normally,” Jimenez said.

“It is not happening perfectly but it is happening within the range of expectations. Kabahan tayo ‘pag may problema tapos ‘di nasosolusyonan, (Let’s worry if there is an unsolvable problem)” he added.

Among the problems encountered during the polls were 1,000 SD cards equivalent to 450 to 600 vote counting machines malfunctioned. This caused delay in some of the polling precincts. 

Media updates from the Comelec's transparency server also bogged down early Monday evening, with Jimenez saying pas midnight Tuesday that although the server was receiving election data, there was a problem with sending those updates to media computers linked to the server.

Jimenez said there are 85,000 VCMs working nationwide but they have a back-up of 10,000 more for its contingency plan.

Only 6.8% of precincts closed on time at 6 p.m.

Although the Comelec official said this is not a “problem-free” election, he said the poll body has to understand the problems encountered more fully in order to be ready in the next elections.



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