Jakarta election

Jakarta Holds Revotes at Two Polling Stations Amid Claims of Election Violations

Allegations of voter violations continue as the Jakarta governor's race moves towards the April runoff election.
February 20, 2017, 10:55am

The Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPU) held revotes in two polling stations on Sunday after it discovered widespread violations. The revote comes as the election teams of Anies Baswedan and Basuki Tjahaja Purnama continue to file reports with the KPU of alleged infractions committed during the 15 Feb. election.

The Jakarta Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) recommended the revote after finding that several people had illegally cast their votes without proper registration at two polling stations, one in Pancoran, South Jakarta, and one in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.

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Jakarta had the highest number of voter violations, according to initial reports by Bawaslu. The agency found 97 election violations in the Jakarta election. The next closest province was Banten with 68 violations.

"It is the highest compared to six other provinces holding gubernatorial elections," Rikson Nababan, an expert at Bawaslu, said at a press conference on Thursday.

The campaign teams of both candidates facing off in the runoff election told VICE Indonesia that they had received numerous reports of potential violations.

"Here's an example of a violation: A TPS was already counting before 1 pm, there's also people who can't vote," said Amir Hamzah, an attorney for Anies and his running mate Sandiaga Uno. "There's a lot of examples. Right now, I'm in Pademangan, where there's someone who voted not using their name."

A member of the Ahok campaign team told VICE Indonesia that his office had received similar complaints. Both parties were still compiling reports when our reporters reached out to them and they were unable to provide us with a total tally of alleged voter violations.

"We're compiling all the complaints, we received a lot today," one of Ahok's campaign managers told VICE Indonesia.

Allegations of voter fraud and intimidation have been making rounds on social media since the morning of the election. One video claims to show a mob of angry men attacking the head of a polling station as he is rushed away to safety by Jakarta police. In another, a man of ethnic Chinese descent complained that a lot of Chinese Indonesians weren't included on a voter list at an apartment in Teluk Gong, Penjaringan, North Jakarta. Similar complaints echoed out on Facebook posts at the time of the election.

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"It's true that yesterday there were hundreds of citizens who couldn't exercise their rights to vote because there weren't any unused ballots left," said Muhammad Jufri, the coordinator of Bawaslu's election violation division. "And also because of TPS staff's lack of knowledge during election process."

Clean elections advocates said that Jakarta has a troubled history with its voter lists [DPT]. The KPU has taken great pains in the past to eliminate so-called "ghost voters"—citizens included on the DPT who are either deceased or no longer at that address—from the voter registry. But there's also an issue with voters whose names aren't included on the DPT.

KPU Jakarta said its own estimates expected at 2.5 percent increase over the 6.8 registered voters would show up to cast their ballots on election day. But initial estimates found an even larger number of unknown voters had appeared at the polls on 15 Feb. The KPU said it needs to investigate the data further before making a conclusion.

And an election day survey of polling stations by the independent auditor Nasional Jaringan Pendidikan Pemilih untuk Rakyat (JPPR) found that out of the 940 polling stations surveyed, 25 percent of them had issues with the voter lists.

"DKI Jakarta has a crucial problem related to the quality of voters data," explained Titi Anggraini, the executive director of the clean elections group Perludem. "The less massive violations mostly are mostly related to money politics and during quiet period. The more obvious violations in DKI Jakarta happened during the election day, which concerned DPT validation [issues] and the lack of technical capacity of the TPS [polling station] staff."

It's enough of a problem that at least one person in the Anies camp things this election would've gone very differently if there weren't so many violations.

"We could've won in one round," Yupen Hadi, the Anies-Sandi Campaign Team's deputy head of advocation and security, told BBC Indonesia.

The runoff election is scheduled for 19 April.