Thousands of polling stations in Indonesia to hold revotes

PHOTO: The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

Thousands of polling stations across Indonesia are expected to hold revotes to make up for technical glitches that reportedly caused problems in dozens of provinces nationwide.

The Elections Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) is giving the General Elections Commission (KPU) recommendations on the technical and logistical needs of the revoting process.

According to KPU data obtained by The Jakarta Post on Monday, the commission received revote or voting extension requests from 2,700 polling stations in 31 provinces. The polling stations that filed reports comprise 0.3 per cent of the total 813,350 polling stations that operated on the day of the election on April 17.

KPU chairman Arief Budiman said of the 2,700 requests, the commission had finished processing 1,511 of them.

"Hopefully we can process all of the requests within 10 days," he said on Monday.

KPU commissioner Ilham Saputra said Bawaslu was in the process of sending its findings and recommendations to the commission.

"Most of the revote requests are because they [polling station officers] let voters from outside their electoral districts, who were ineligible to be listed on the special voter list (DPK), cast their votes. We will study all of the cases and carry out the revote," he said.

During this election cycle, citizens who were not registered on the final voter list (DPT) could be listed on the DPK and vote as long as they went to the polling station in the same subdistrict where their e-ID card was issued.

Data show that of around 2,700 requests, 2,600 of them were revote requests.

West Sumatra has the most revote requests with 56 cases. However, the province has yet to submit a schedule for a revote.

The province's KPU head, Amnasmen, said Bawaslu had recommended that nearly 90 polling stations in 19 cities and districts conduct a revote. Padang City has the most revote requests, as recommended by Bawaslu.

Amnasmen said the revote should be carried out by April 27, 10 days after the national vote, and, as such, the deadline for district-level KPUs to submit their revote schedule was Tuesday.

"We must decide on it immediately because we have limited supplies and need to ask the central KPU to send them for the revote," he told the Post on Monday.

He said the KPU might not accept all recommendations from Bawaslu because it first needed to identify what the problems were at each polling station.

"They may only hold one election at the polling stations as requested, for example the presidential election only or the legislative election only," he said.

North Sumatra is one of the provinces that has submitted its schedule. Its provincial KPU set Tuesday as the day for extended voting in 113 polling stations in Nias Selatan district. On the same day, there will be a revote at two sites in Medan.

KPU North Sumatra member Benget Manahan Silitonga said voting extensions were needed due to logistical delays that affected 116 polling stations in four districts, namely Toma, Somambawa, Siduaori and Mazino.

He said revotes were planned because voters from outside their respective polling districts had cast invalid votes. As such, revotes would be held at four polling stations in the districts of Bawodobara, Teluk Dalam, Hilizombol and Lahusa.

"Everything has been settled, including the logistics," Benget said.

Meanwhile, the East Java branch of Bawaslu recommended that a revote and recount take place at 12 polling stations in the province.

KPU Bantul, based in Yogyakarta province, is also set to hold a revote at 12 polling stations and extend the voting period in eight districts in the regency.

"The revote should be held not because of poll worker incompetence, but because the poll station supervisors could not stop voters from outside their electoral districts from participating, even though they did not have the necessary A5 form," KPU Bantul chairman Didik Joko Nugroho said.