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INDONESIA POLLS: Logistical glitches disrupt voting in some provinces

Publication Date : 10-04-2014

 

Although voting in Indonesia proceeded smoothly nationwide in general, the Elections Monitoring Agency (Bawaslu) received reports of possible vote-rigging on Wednesday.

Bawaslu commissioner Nasrullah said among the evidence found for possible violations were ballots already perforated and papers sent to the wrong electoral districts.

“There were some ballots already perforated, including 102 in South Nias regency. In Blitar, we found 110 ballots perforated by the head of the Polling Station Working Committee [KPPS] there. The KPPS head is being questioned. We also found a similar case in Bogor, West Java,” he told reporters at Bawaslu’s headquarters in Central Jakarta.

In Poso, Central Sulawesi, officials from the Provincial General Elections Commission (KPUD) found 16 ballots that had been perforated before being distributed to would-be voters on Wednesday.

“It’s true that we found already-perforated ballots but at this point we can’t confirm the names of the parties or the legislative candidates that were perforated on the ballots,” Iwan Ahmad, a KPUD member, told The Jakarta Post.

After the discovery, he called for the suspension of voting.

Bawaslu also found many cases of ballots being sent to the wrong electoral districts.

Bawaslu commissioner Daniel Zuchron said the agency found such cases in a number of provinces.

In Banyuwangi, East Java, 729 ballot papers in three polling stations were found to belong to other electoral districts in the regency.

The switched ballots were found in three polling stations involving more than 600 ballots.

Incidences of switched ballots were reported in Banyuwangi by Sumiarni, a legislative candidate from the Hanura Party, after she complained her name did not appear on the ballots distributed by a local polling station.

Following the finding, the head of the polling station, Yunias Sugiarto, said voting was suspended for 30 minutes.

Switched ballots were also found in Nias, North Sumatra; Sampang, Sumenep, Bojonegoro and Ponorogo in East Java; Yogyakarta and Bandung in West Java; Flores in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and Serang in Banten, Bawaslu said.

Nasrullah said Bawaslu had filed an official recommendation to the KPU to handle the cases.

“Our recommendation is to stop the voting process in places where ballots have been switched. The halt is only for ballot papers that are switched,” Bawaslu commissioner Nelson Simanjuntak said.

The balloting process on Wednesday was also marred by logistical problems, resulting in the postponement of voting in some regions.

Voting in Yahukimo regency in Papua, for example, will take place on April 12 as 34 districts in the regency did not receive ballots by Wednesday.

Besides Yahukimo, voting in Sikka, NTT, was also postponed, with the KPUD running short of 906 ballots.

“Voting at polling stations 7, 8 and 9 in Nanghale village will be organised later this month,” KPU commissioner Arief Budiman said.

KPU chairman Husni Kamil Manik said he had received a report that ballots in Sikka could have been stolen.

Husni said he had instructed the NTT KPUD to investigate.

“We’ve also received a report that the KPUD is still trying to send more ballots today,” he said.

 

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