Smartmatic reports 82,000 voting machines ready
By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:30:00 02/11/2010
Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Computing & Information Technology
MANILA, Philippines—Smartmatic-TIM, the technology supplier for the automated elections, has announced that it has completed the manufacture of the 82,000 voting and counting machines to be used in the May 10 polls.
Elections Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said the consortium had already finished producing all the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines required for the elections in their factory in China this week.
“The last PCOS machine was produced on Feb. 8,” Larrazabal said.
Of the 82,000 machines that the poll body will be renting from Smartmatic-TIM, 75,471 machines will be immediately sent to the precincts while the remaining 6,739 PCOS will be kept as spares.
According to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), about 48,900 units have arrived in the company’s warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna, while another 7,200 units are still at the Bureau of Customs.
About 800 units are in transit and the remaining 25,300 units are awaiting shipment from Shanghai, China.
The Comelec is helping the company arrange for the smooth delivery of the machines by Feb. 21, Larrazabal said.
The delivery of the voting and counting machines has been delayed several times.
In the original calendar of the Comelec, the machines should have started arriving in October 2009.
But changes in the location of the plant—Smartmatic had transferred it from Taipei to Shanghai—and the high cost of holiday cargo shipments pushed back the schedule.
The machines will be stored in a warehouse in Laguna, where they will undergo tests.
Before the machines are sent to the polling precincts, the Comelec and Smartmatic-TIM will configure the equipment so they will work only for a particular precinct and set of ballots.