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Vote counting machines are being tested and sealed in Bataan.

BALANGA CITY. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office announced on Tuesday that testing and sealing of vote-counting machines (VCMs) for the local and national elections is already underway in all polling precincts in this province’s 11 municipalities and one metropolis.

The provincial elections supervisor, lawyer Cristina Garcia, stated they got 861 VCMs for the May 9 polls, but none were provided for contingencies.

There are 566,479 registered voters in Bataan, who are spread among 237 barangays in three districts.

Watchers of two rival mayoral candidates, volunteers from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), and members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) came early Tuesday morning to test the VCMs assigned in their respective polling areas in the clustered precincts in Barangays Ibaba and Santa Lucia in Samal town.

From the opening of the boxes carrying the VCM and accouterments until the counting of test votes and the sealing of the machines, they kept a watchful eye on everything.

Open voting was conducted among the observers and BEI members.

Before opening the sealed boxes, members of the BEI described the goal of the practice.

“Ang purpose nito ay para malaman natin kung ang machine na ito ay walang diperensiya at magagamit sa election date at isa pa nga ay para malaman ninyo na wala talagang nakaboto dito (The purpose is to determine if this machine has no defect and can be used in the election date and one more thing is for you

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