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Teachers call for on-site training to lessen election day transmission glitches

3 May 2010 No Comment


February 3, 2010



The Alliance of Concerned Teachers today called on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to provide teachers serving as election inspectors in the May 10 elections with training in the use of automated counting machines at the actual precinct sites where they will be deployed.

“Hands-on, on-site training is crucial,” said ACT national chairperson Antonio Tinio. “It’s the only way to know if the wireless transmission of election results will work or not at a particular location. This will give teachers the chance to prepare for contingencies before election day.”

Tinio cited the glitch-riddled field testing of the voting machines held at the Aguho Elementary School in Pateros last Friday as an example of what to expect on election day should the COMELEC fail to provide teachers with on-site training. “The wireless transmission of votes from the precinct to servers at the municipal and national levels is the most challenging procedure from the point of view of the teachers who will operate the machines. As we saw, it took the Smartmatic technicians over three hours to get the machine to transmit from the school in Pateros. If these experts had a hard time, what more the teachers?” Smartmatic is the Venezuela-based firm contracted by COMELEC to provide automation services for the upcoming polls.

Tinio noted that, according to a site survey conducted by Smartmatic, 35% of precincts nationwide do not have access to adequate telecommunications infrastructure and will encounter transmission problems on election day. “In other words, we can expect problems in over 25,000 precincts on election day.”

“Do we want a repeat of the Pateros scenario in thousands of precincts all over the country on election day? This is why they have to be given hands-on training, particularly in transmission procedures, at the site of their actual precincts, since conditions, such as the availability of mobile signals, will be unique for every location,” Tinio added.

Tinio pointed out that COMELEC’s teacher training schedule has no provision for on-site transmission testing. “That’s a formula for chaos on election day,” he concluded. #


Reference: Antonio L. Tinio (0920-9220817) , ACT Chairperson

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