5,300 PCOS machines transmit data days after polls

TRANSMISSION. The slow transmission of votes initially cause election watchdogs and the Comelec to worry. Photo by Tricia Villaluz/Rappler

TRANSMISSION. The slow transmission of votes initially cause election watchdogs and the Comelec to worry.

Photo by Tricia Villaluz/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Just when the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and election watchdogs were getting worried about the slow transmission of votes, election machines transmitting to the Transparency Server suddenly shot up at a surprising rate. This came days after the elections, and at an unlikely hour of the day.

An analysis of data from the Comelec-Rappler Mirror Server shows that quite a number of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines were able to transmit votes only 3 days after the elections. Also, all of them transmitted data at dawn. 

Signs of an increasing volume of PCOS transmission were already noticed by evening of Wednesday, May 15.

Only 3 PCOS machines transmitted at separate periods each between 8 and 9 pm. The number increased to 14 by 10 pm, then to 95 by 11pm.

By 12:05 am of Thursday, 243 PCOS machines transmitted data. 

In every transmission that followed, the Comelec server was receiving from around 100 to 200 PCOS machines nationwide. (See our PCOS Transmission Status Map to see areas where machines failed to successfully transmit results.)    


By 8:26 am of Thursday, May 16, transmission dropped again to 83 PCOS machines, then to just 1 PCOS by 8:47 am.

A total of 32 file transfers were received by the Rappler Mirror Server from 10 pm of Wednesday to 8 pm of Thursday, May 16.

These files included around 5,300 election results (ERs), and added 2.89 million voters to the number of voters who actually voted.  

Total registered voters for the additional precincts amounted to 3.76 million.

The additional precinct results reduces the number of voters who potentially voted but are still unaccounted for in the system to 8.14 million, assuming a 77 % turn-out across all precincts.  

There were transmissions made from almost all provinces, with the bulk coming from the following areas:

In Metro Manila alone, 756 PCOS machines in various cities also transmitted at around this time.

The sudden increase in transmission contrasts with the snail-paced count of votes just two days after the country's second automated national elections. On Tuesday, the percentage of precincts accounted for nationwide stood at only 69%.

Votes from a total of 24,090 precincts nationwide have not yet been received by the Comelec Transparency Server as of Wednesday, May 15.

Brillantes earlier claimed that poor telecommunications signals have hampered transmission, but the “major problem” involves disputes and incomplete results. He refused to disclose these problems – to avoid blowing these out of proportion, according to him.

Changes in Top 12

At around these times when the PCOS data transmission shot up, no one was added or removed from the top 12 of the senatorial race.

As of Wednesday evening, the top 12 lineup included:

However, the rankings of re-electionist candidates Alan Cayetano and Francis Escudero were changing between midnight to morning of Thursday.

Based on the unofficial tally of Rappler, Cayetano was at 3rd spot at 12:31 am, then was replaced by Escudero at 12:47 am. Cayetano regained 3rd spot at 1:24 am, and was dislodged again by Escudero at 6:29 am.

All canvass reports from the Comelec National Board of Canvassers show Escudero still on 3rd spot, followed by Cayetano on 4th (See official tally of votes). - Rappler.com