By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Commission on Elections expects nearly 100 percent opening of polling places in today’s midterm polls.
“We expect 99.97 percent of the places nationwide will be able to open on time,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said in a press briefing minutes before the polling precincts opened at 6 a.m.
He said this is because majority of the areas in the country already finished the Field Testing and Sealing (FTS) of the vote counting machines.
“Our FTS is 99.97 percent complete. Majority of the country is done with FTS so they are ready to go,” said Jimenez.
FTS is being done to find out if the machines are working properly.
He said they are still waiting for updates from Regions 2, 8, 9, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“We are unsure if it’s already ongoing because the areas involved are far. This is particularly true in BARMM. For the rest, the FTS is ongoing,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez is not discounting the possibility of the opening being delayed in some areas.
“There might be some places where it will be delayed. But again at this point that’s very minimal because we are already at 99.97,” said Jimenez.
He also assured that they have a contingency plan in case there is a problem with the VCM.
“We have a contingency in case there is a problem with the VCM which is replacement. It still boils down to just delays. The elections will push through,” Jimenez said.
“We are not projecting any place where there will be no elections,” he added.