The Jakarta Post
As the nation is confronted with its stiffest presidential election rivalry, the vote tabulation process from the July 9 poll has been marred by reports of irregularities. This has encouraged many concerned citizens to participate in supervising the recapitulation of the vote at all levels. The Jakarta Post's Hans Nicolas Jong explores some of the stories behind the issue.
In a historic presidential poll where two tickets ' Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa and Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo-Jusuf Kalla ' won an almost equal number of votes, the real test of democracy began right after polling stations closed on Wednesday afternoon.
Controversy quickly emerged when seven pollsters announced Jokowi-Kalla had won, while another four called the race for Prabowo-Hatta. The projections were the result of quick counts based on a sampling of thousands of polling stations.
With the official count by the General Elections Commission (KPU) not scheduled for completion until July 22, both candidates announced victory, leaving the public confused as they had two winning presidents by the end of the day.
Citizens have been monitoring the vote count, which was slated to be conducted at the subdistrict level on Sunday, by scouring through countless recapitulation documents, known as C1 forms, that have been uploaded to the KPU website, pilpres2014.kpu.go.id/c1.php.
They have counted the votes tallied on each document and pointed out any irregularities on social media like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.
One of the active citizen-led watchdog platforms is c1yanganeh.tumblr.com.
As a disclaimer, the website states that it will not process its findings; it only facilitates the viewing of 'odd' C1 documents. The blog showcases dozens of these abnormal C1 documents that had been uploaded on to the KPU website. People who come across similarly bizarre records are encouraged by the blog to email their pictures to [email protected]
Netizens have also been highlighting errors in the forms on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #c1yanganeh.
The movement was initiated by a single-man army, 32-year-old Herman Saksono.
Herman, who is currently on a summer break from his post-graduate study in Boston, said that he got the idea to start the blog after seeing many Twitter users reporting irregularities in the C1 forms uploaded to the KPU website.
'At first I saw on Facebook and Twitter that there were many reports of C1 forms with irregularities, which made me worried that the findings would only spread in social media while we were left wondering how many irregularities were there and where they had happened,' he told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
Seeing how the reports were sporadic, Herman got the idea to compile all the findings on one website, which launched on Friday.
'Since I started the blog, there have been more than 50 reports of C1 forms with irregularities,' he said.
Herman said that as the blog was still new, he was still working alone without any help.
'Once I receive a report, I will check it with the KPU website to see whether the report is accurate or not,' Herman said. 'So far I haven't found any reports that were photoshopped.'
Up until now, he said that he did not actively go through the scanned C1 forms on the KPU website to look for irregularities, but instead relied on reports from the public sent through Twitter, Facebook or email.
The movement has attracted the attention of mass media, with mainstream news outlets such as kompas.com and detik.com reporting on findings from the blog.
'I am happy that Indonesians actually care about this process. They did not only vote but are also guarding the vote count,' Herman said.
He also expressed hope that whoever found irregularities would report them to the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu).
Urban planning scholar Elisa Sutanudjaja launched on Friday night another initiative to compile data from all the C1 forms on the KPU website.
She has announced on her Twitter, @elisa_jkt, and Facebook account that she would coordinate the tally and has asked people to participate.
She has so far received dozens of replies from people who want to volunteer and who have reported C1 irregularities.
After allegations surfaced of the manipulation of the online tabulation system used by the KPU during the 2009 elections, the poll commission has run a manual system in this year's presidential election.
Each polling station has the ability to scan the C1 recap form at a municipal or regency office that will upload an image of the form to the KPU website.
KPU commissioner Hadar Nafis Gumay welcomed ordinary citizens' participation in the vote count process. He attributed the reported irregularities in the C1 forms to human error.
'Maybe the polling station committee [KPPS] officer wrongly wrote the numbers down.'
He added that he had been actively responding to the findings from the public by answering their inquiries through social media.
'After that, we will check whether the information regarding the irregularities in the forms is true or not because it is possible for scanned forms to be fabricated [before they are spread across social media],' Hadar said.
If the KPU also confirms the irregularities, then the commission will forward the findings to the respective KPU local branches.
'Then they will compare the findings to other documents, such as the official C1 forms [with holograms on them],' Hadar said.
Once the irregularities are detected and verified, KPU officials will correct the forms and make dossiers with the consent of all parties involved, especially election witnesses from both candidates.
Seeing how the public's enthusiasm to monitor the recapitulation process had increased from the legislative election, Hadar said that the KPU was grateful to see such a response.
'Our goal is for the scanned C1 forms to become a control mechanism that can be utilized by all people,' he said.
Such a mechanism, he said, was crucial to ensure that the tabulation process, conducted in stages, was safe from vote-rigging attempts.
'We can control in a more detailed way because the process is broken down into stages. If there is any problem, we can identify that,' he said.
The Subdistrict Polling Committees (PPS) will be responsible for reviewing the vote count at the subdistrict level before the District Polling Committees (PPK) reviews the count again from July 13 to 15.
The next recapitulation at the regency and city level will take place on July 16 and 17 before the Provincial General Elections Commissions (KPUD) review the votes on July 18 and 19.
The KPU is scheduled to oversee a final recapitulation of votes from July 20 to 22. (tjs/put)
Help prevent fraud in vote recapitulation
Polling stations: 479,183 I Eligible voters: 190,307,134
Based on quick counts, the 5 percent vote gap between Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, in which the
former is leading, is equivalent to around 9.51 million votes with an assumption of a 100 percent turnout. The quick
counts have indicated a turnout level of more than 75 percent, meaning the vote gap could amount to 7.8 million.
1. How the public can participate in supervising the recapitulation:
- Check the accuracy of the total votes in every polling station as written in the recapitalization documents known as C1 forms.
- The forms can be downloaded from the KPU's website pilpres2014.kpu.go.id/c1.php
- On the website, select the polling station that will be subject to scrutiny by selecting the province, regency, district and subdistrict where the station is located. Download the C1 form.
- Check the total votes in the form. According to the election regulation, the number of ballot papers for each polling station should not be more than 800.
- Check how the local organizers write the numbers of the votes in the form. A common irregularity occurs when an "X", the sign of a void, is misidentified as, or intentionally changed to, an "8" by election organizers at a higher level of the recapitulation process.
- Directly visit the offices where the votes are scheduled to be calculated. Ensure there are no discrepancies in the figures sent by the polling stations to the subdistrict or other higher offices
2. Where to report indications of fraud or irregularities
The Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu)
1. Directly report to their website:
2. Call Bawaslu's hotline:
( 021 ) 3910000 or 3910300
3. Text Bawaslu's SMS center: +6287881017356
Email [email protected]
or via the KPU's
Facebook account on facebook.com/helpdeskKPU
Network of volunteers
1. Text 087869000002
2. Call ( 021 ) 3518457 or ( 021 ) 3518467
3. Email [email protected]
4. Help center at Jl. Majapahit No. 26 Blok AG, Central
Subdistrict : July 10-12
District : July 13-15
Regency/municipality : July 16-17
Province : July 18-19
General Elections Commission (KPU): July 20-22
KPU official tally : No later than July 22