A total of 355 vote counting machines (VCM) with mechanical defects have been identified by the Commission on Elections while conducting its final testing and sealing (FTS). 

The poll body said that it has already dispatched all the vote-counting machines, ballot boxes, together with the official ballots for Monday’s elections.

“The repairs for the 355 defective VCMs are ongoing, these were already sent to [the repair hub] in Sta. Rosa (Laguna) for repairs,” Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Comelec said it launched its FTS across the cluster of precincts on Monday, May 2. As of Thursday, 70,924 out of the over 106,704 precinct clusters have been tested. There are 14,060 machines undergoing testing and sealing.

Casquejo shared that 355 defective machines exhibited defects like being unable to scan the ballots.

There are 1,100 contingency machines and Casquejo is confident that there would not be a problem on election day.

“As compared to 2019, the rate of defective VCMs is low because in 2019, on the first day we conducted FTS, we already logged 500 defective VCMs. Maybe because we already repaired them, refurbished the machines, [the number of defective machines] are low,” Casquejo said in a mix of English and Filipino. — Ronald Espartinez