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Silicon Valley Computer Group stinks: Nearly 700 SD cards found ‘corrupted’ in final testing of VCMs

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Almost 700 Secure Digital (SD) cards to be used in the May 13 mid-term polls were found to be corrupted, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Friday.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez disclosed that as of 6 p.m., some 686 SD cards were found to be corrupted during the Final Testing and Sealing (FTS) of vote counting machines (VCMs).

Jimenez noted that there are 85,769 SD cards with the same number of back-up cards.

“Contingency SD cards allocated per regional technical hub (RTH) (amount to) 125 per RTH,” he said in a statement.

The poll body official, meanwhile, said it is good that they are seeing this problem now, noting that “this is the actual purpose of the FTS.”

Jimenez said they have already addressed the problem by deploying replacement SD cards.

“We respond by preparing replacement cards, which are then swapped for the corrupted SD cards. We don’t issue out new SD cards unless we get the corrupted SD cards in return,” he said in a separate interview.

When asked about the identity of the suppliers of the defective SD cards, Jimenez said he is not privy to the information. However, according to insider sources, the faulty SD cards were provided by a joint venture between S1 Technologies Inc. and Silicon Valley Computer Group.

In the 2010 polls, the compact flash (CF) cards of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines were found to have been misconfigured, also during the FTS.

The Comelec and its service provider, Smartmatic – Total Information Management (TIM) Corp. immediately replaced all the estimated 76,000 CF cards nationwide with just a week left before Election Day.

The Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) started the conduct of the FTS this week.

The process involves the initialization of the machines, the voting, the feeding of the accomplished ballots to the VCMs, until the printing of election returns (ERs).

After the FTS, the VCMs will be sealed and locked and will only be opened on Election Day. (PNA)

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