COMELEC confession: Wrong UV ink was used for ballots, no word yet if supplier will be penalized

We want to think that it's just a bad joke–but it's not.

In an article dated April 1 (right before everyone took a brief hiatus for Holy Week), Philstar.com reports that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) admitted that Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. (TIM) supplied the wrong ultraviolet (UV) ink used in the printing of the ballots for the May 10 elections, and that these marks are thus unreadable by the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines.

This is the reason why the UV readers of the PCOS machines have been shut off. Instead, "the teachers serving as Board of Election Inspectors to use portable UV lamps to scan the UV security markings on the ballots."   This would take an additional two seconds to each voters' queing time, according to the COMELEC.   The portable UV lamps are the same ones used to validate currency.

COMELEC Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal could not say if Smartmatic-TIM would be penalized for their error.

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