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First Automated OAV started in Kuwait

PCOS Machine (Photo credit to Philstar)
PCOS Machine (Photo credit to Philstar)

Kuwait- The Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) in Kuwait began last April 14 using the computerized elections system for the first time.

Atty. James Jimenez, the Commission of Elections spokeperson arrived to Kuwait for the supervision of the first automated OAV in the country.

Jimenez is in Kuwait to supervise the training of those who will act as board of elections members.

“Napili kong puntahan ang Kuwait kasi malaki po ang bilang ng mga botatante sa Kuwait—more than 30,000 registered voters. In other places in the Middle East maliit ang bilang ng registered voters, kaya, dito ko napiling pumunta para maalalayan nating maigi ang mga tao dito sa kauna-unahang automated absentee voting,” Jimenez added.

He also reminded the community leaders regarding the proper usage of the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) since this is its first time to be used in Kuwait. Among these was the proper shading of the circles corresponding the name of the candidates.

“Ang cross out o linya lamang ay hindi babasahin ng PCOS, kaya ang payo natin sa ating ma kababayan, sundin ang tamang paraan. Dapat ay 12 lamang pong senador ang isi-shade natin at isang party list representative lamang, mula sa electronic ballot natin, kung sumobra, hindi iyan babasahin ng machine. Masasayang lang ang inyong boto. Okay lang ang kulang or under vote huwag lang somobra,” Jimenez explained.

Jimenez also explained why the trainings were delayed. “Isang araw na na-hold ang ating PCOS machine sa custom. Supposed to be, agad-agad na ang isinet nating trainings para sa mga SBEI kasi nga Sabado na ang simula ng OAV, pero nahold sa custom ang mga PCOS machines natin. So nadelay ng konting oras yung training. So bukas (Friday), mag-co-conduct kami ng final testing and sealing.

“Kailangan talaga ito para maging smooth ang sistema at ang voting procedures hanggang sa matapos. Yung mga SBEI natin ready na sila kasi kahit wala pa at hindi pa nailalabas sa custom ‘yung PCOS machines natin mayroon na kaming ginanap na PowerPoint theory presentations sa kanila kahapon at kaninang umaga.

“So mamaya, actual na nilang masusubukan ang PCOS at kanina nakita na nila ang mga machines na nailabas na sa custom.

“We have a representative from DOST para icertify ang mga PCOS machines na gagamitin dito sa Kuwait,” Jimenez explained.

Jimenez and the team stayed in Kuwait for four days not only to conduct  workshops for the embassy officials and leaders who are leading the OAv, but also to put in order the first PCOS Machine voting. They wanted to make sure that the first automated OAV in Kuwait will be successful.

This OAV will last until May 13, the Election date in the Philippines, as it is the custom to give OFW voters to be given one whole month to vote.

“Isang buwan po ang ibinigay na panahon (palugit) para sa OAVs. Mahaba-haba ang botohan kaya sana makarating sa loob na ibinigay na palugit ang ating mga kababayang registered voters at bomoto sila at i-exercise ang kanilang karapatang bomoto o pumili ng karapat-dapat na opisyal.” Jimenez reminded.

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