Comelec: Repair of 355 defective vote counting machines ongoing

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 6) — All vote counting machines for the May 9 elections have been distributed nationwide, with at least 355 defective ones already undergoing repairs, the Commission on Elections said Friday.

"That’s a very miniscule amount compared to the number of VCMs in play, and those machines are being looked at, being repaired at our various repair hubs," Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told CNN Philippines' The Source.

"They're making sure that even though they fail the FTS (final testing and sealing), they will still be ready or will be used as contingency devices," he added.

The Comelec previously said that all of the 65.8 million official ballots, equivalent to the number of registered voters in the country, have been deployed in their respective areas. Another 1.7 million Filipinos are voting overseas.

Jimenez said almost 2,000 backup VCMs have also been "scattered across the country, strategically placed throughout the country in several deployment hubs."

The poll body has deployed external batteries and facilitated generator sets in key areas to ensure the operation of the machines will not be interrupted.

Jimenez also noted that the machines have already undergone stress-testing to withstand the heat and influx of the people on voting day.

Voters who are queueing within 30 meters from their polling precincts past 7 p.m. will still be accommodated, he stressed.

Filipinos wiill cast their votes for their president, vice president, senators, and a party-list group of choice for the next six years.

Jimenez said the poll body sees a higher voter turnout this year — higher than the 82% recorded turnout in the last presidential elections, with about 44.5 million casting their votes in 2016.