So, far, so good.
The first automated elections is running smoothly except for some irregularities reported in some parts of the country and outbreaks of violence in Abra, Mindanao and parts of Luzon.
It took Mrs. Arroyo six minutes to finish shading all her preferred candidates. She did not use a codigo. Liberal party vice president Mar Roxas also completed his in Roxas City while his wife, Korina Sanchez looked on. Kris Aquino already finished hers in Bel-Air Makati while in Bulacan, Presidentiable Eddie Villanueva also finished in less than eight minutes. He was the first presidentiable to vote.
All the PCOS machines performed well, except for one polling place in Bulacan where Maricar Bautista of ABS-CBN reported a problem with one of the PCOS machines. Smartmatic-TIM promised to replace the machine immediately.
By the way, Cesar Quiambao, in numerous press releases and several ADs denied links with SMARTMATIC-TIM. Quiambao, a close associate of First Gentleman Mike Arroyo denied that he's connected with the winner SMARTMATIC-TIM. His Strategic Alliance Holdings Incorporated reportedly lost in the bid.
The Smartmatic-TIM who won the automation bid, is different from the partner of the Quiambaos. Or so you know.
Though it looks that the automation will be as smooth as silk, don't be too confident. Don't let your guard down.
These PCOS machines are used to COUNT not just RECEIVE your ballots.
Even if they received the ballots which were fed into the machine, the most important feature of this machine is to ACCURATELY READ THE VOTES.
IF, at the end of the day, these machines fail to accurately and precisely READ THE VOTES, then, this elections will still be considered a failure.
Remember that the elections do not end with the voting--it ends with the counting and proclamation of the winners.
If there was accurate counting of the votes but the poll body fails to proclaim a winner due to post-election controversies, then, this elections will still be rendered a failure.
I pray to GOD that these elections go as smoothly as possible. We don't want violence.