Problems anticipated in upcoming Philippine election

A number of reports anticipate that there will be problems in the May 10 Philippine elections, given that there have been issues with the formatting of memory cards in the new voting system that they will be using.

Here is one from Time: “Philippine Elections: Tech Snafus with PCOS Voting Machines.” Here’s a summary of the problems from this story:

In the latest twist in the country’s electoral saga, a May 5 recall of improperly configured memory cards from all 76,000 machines spurred rumors that the vote may be postponed. That, coupled with a statement the same day by a presidential spokesperson that the glitches may necessitate delaying the elections, led to widespread calls to stick with the established May 10 date, lest the elections fall into disrepute as they often have in the past.

And here is a slightly different perspective from the Seattle Times, “Fears of automated voting glitches cast doubt on Philippine elections:

But less than a week before elections, more than 76,000 faulty memory chips from the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines were recalled by Smartmatic-TIM, the multinational company contracted to produce the voting machines, causing panic that the automated system will not be ready by election day.

The possibility of electricity shortages in certain parts of the country also has raised concerns of blackouts during polling hours. Comelec has not prepared the paperwork or arranged the manpower for a complete manual count should the automated elections fail.