Poll body given ample time to fix voter roll

Haeril Halim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Wed, December 04 2013, 7:56 AM

Big ticket: Representatives of political parties verify draft ballots for the 2014 general election during a meeting at the General Elections Commission (KPU) in Jakarta on Tuesday. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

The Election Supervisory Committee (Bawaslu) has said it will be flexible with the deadline for the General Elections Commission (KPU) to fix citizen registration problems still affecting around 3 million voters in the final list of 186 million voters.

As of Tuesday, the KPU and the Home Ministry had produced citizen registration numbers for around 7.1 million of 10.4 million voters who had lacked them. The KPU is scheduled to hold a plenary meeting on Wednesday, the deadline previously set by Bawaslu.

“We will recommend that the KPU grant citizen registration numbers for those who still lack them up to two weeks prior to polling day [at the latest by April 9, 2014],” Bawaslu chairman Muhammad said after a coordination meeting with the Home Ministry and KPU representatives on Tuesday.

Muhammad said, citing Bawaslu’s data analysis, that of the 10.4 million affected voters, around 3 million would be granted new citizen registration numbers by the ministry and that tens of thousands could not be granted citizen registration numbers as of Tuesday due to insurmountable problems.

“If two weeks before April 9 those thousands of people are still not verified, they will be deleted from the voter list. But if their data is confirmed after being cross-checked and they do not have citizen registration numbers, then they will be put on the supplementary voter list in order to guarantee citizens’ constitutional rights,” he added.

KPU commissioner Hadar Nafis Gumay welcomed Bawaslu’s decision, saying that the poll body would focus on fixing voter data.

“This is for the sake of the electorate,” he said, adding that the KPU was always open to input from citizens and political parties.

Director general for civil and citizenship administration at the Home Ministry, Irman, said that it was easy to grant citizen registration numbers to people as long as the people existed and their administrative data was complete.

“We are very careful in granting citizen registration numbers to avoid multiple entries. We also make sure that those who are eligible to vote are registered on the voter list,” he said.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) lambasted the KPU for not being transparent in reporting the progress of data recovery and not acknowledging the voter list problems.

“[From the very beginning] we were sure that the KPU would not be able to fix the problem on time. We deplore the fact that we only learned of progress via the media, not directly from the KPU,” Arif Wibowo of the PDI-P said.

“After the announcement of the voter list on Nov. 4, we handed our field research on 47 million people who still lacked the necessary data variables, but we have not heard back anything from the KPU since then,” he went on. He suggested that the KPU make the voter list “clean and clear” before the election to avoid “ghost voters” in the future.

“We support the idea of allowing another deadline extension for the KPU to fix the problem. We urge the KPU to really check the data in the field and delete ineligible voters,” he said.

Former KPU commissioner and current Democratic Party politician Andi Nurpati said that her party would not have any problem if the KPU needed more time to fix the problem.

“The KPU and the Home Ministry should work together to make sure that all voters have their administrative data completed,” she said.


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