Saturday, April 20, 2024 | 10:47 WIB

Bawaslu’s brave decree: Quick counts are a violation, KPU’s Situng is wrong

IO – The Elections Monitoring Agency (Badan Pengawas Pemilu – “Bawaslu”) has made an extremely brave and surprising decision: to declare that the Election Commission’s Voting Count Information System (Sistem Informasi Penghitungan Suara Komisi Pemilihan Umum – “Situng KPU”) is in error, and that the reporting procedure for survey agencies that perform quick count violates regulations. “We declare that KPU is validly proven to have violated the processes and procedures for inputting data into the Voting Count Information System or Situng,” said the Chairman of the Panel of Judges Abhan in a hearing held in the Office of Bawaslu RI, Jl. M.H. Thamrin, Central Jakarta, on Thursday (16/05/2019). Bawaslu also ordered KPU to correct the processes and procedures for inputting voting count information data into the Situng.

Other than relating to Situng KPU, the Bawaslu Panel of Judges also decided that KPU is guilty of having performed administrative violations in performing the quick count. Bawaslu made two decrees concerning the quick count: “First, that KPU did not make formal announcement relating to the registration of quick count of the votes for the election of members of the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”), Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah – “DPD”), Regional House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah – “DPRD”), and for the election of the president and vice president in 2019,” said Panel of Judges member Rahmat Bagja,

Second, KPU did not officially write to the agencies that perform quick counts of votes to include reports of sources of funds and the methodology used at the latest 15 days after the electoral quick count started. “This violates the provisions of Article 449 Paragraph 4 of Law Number 7 of 2017 concerning Elections, Article 29 and Article 30 Paragraph 1 of KPU Regulation of 2018 concerning the Dissemination of Information, Education of Voters, and Public Participation,” Bagja added.

Bawaslu requested that KPU immediately announce the names of all survey agencies that failed to submit reports to KPU. This decree gives a slight hope that there will be an overall improvement in the electoral voting count system.

Since its upload on 19 April 2019, Situng has frequently been criticized by the people, especially the National Committee to Elect Prabowo-Sandi (Badan Pemenangan Nasional Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno – “BPN Prabowo-Sandi”). Starting from the finding of thousands of data input errors, up to the suspicion that input reports had been “adjusted” to mimic the quick count results made by survey agencies. BPN IT findings show that the number of votes obtained in TPS as uploaded in the Situng frequently change: votes for Presidential Candidate 01 suddenly skyrocketed, while votes for Presidential Candidate 02 shrank.

During a sudden inspection, DPR Vice Chairman Fadli Zon discovered five types of findings in Situng KPU. Basically, Situng KPU is very weak, especially in terms of its validation process. This opens up opportunities for people to perform violations.

Forensic Audit

Bawaslu’s decree is very important. It can be used to expose more facts about the suspected conspiracy and fraud necessary to get a win for Jokowi: starting from quick counts, vote pie chart summaries that seem to be adjusted to quick count results, and tens of thousands of “input errors”. As the consequence of a forensic audit, Situng has temporarily been halted until there is a certainty that the IT system runs and functions properly.

First, total forensic audit of KPU’s IT system is required. Therefore, people can become certain, and not make any wild unfounded guesses. Bawaslu must not stop at operator error. There is a suspicion that this is more than human error, but a systemic and planned “error” (human order).

Second, the data input system to Situng must be improved. Operators cannot double as validators, as found by Fadli Zon.

Third, there must be a thorough investigation of the suspicion of millions of ghostly Final Voters’ Lists (Daftar Pemilih Tetap – “DPT”) items, C1 Forms, C7 Forms, and other electoral administrative paperwork. This investigation is essential is very important for ensuring that the elections are performed honestly. Like it is frequently said, “Each vote counts.”

Fourth, there must be audits by independent agencies against survey agencies that perform the quick count. Who fund them, what methods do they use, and how do they take samples? We must not simply allow them to give data voluntarily. They must admit who their funders are transparently. Are they really consultants who also got the order to secure a win for Presidential Candidate 01 no matter what? It is possible that survey agencies use quick count to claim victory and justify fraud?

KPU then continues the results of the survey agencies’ quick count, using the Situng. Situng KPU’s pie chart is constant from the start, nearly identical to the figures listed in Situng KPU. This causes people to question the results and become suspicious. There is an impression of a conspiracy to manipulate the public (using mind games) in order to make them believe in the victory of Candidate 01. KPU cannot evade by saying that the Situng is not the official result of the vote count, as Bawaslu has firmly stated that Situng’s existence is acknowledged in applicable laws.

Fifth and equally important, Bawaslu must also order KPU to investigate the cause of deaths and illness of hundreds of electoral officials and other related officers.

Even though it may seem that they are playing it safe and the decree is not a substantial one, Bawaslu’s decree gives out a ray of hope for improvement that would expose fraud in the organization of elections. KPU can no longer evade the issue. There are serious issues with the entire electoral process, especially in the Presidential Election. Jokowi-Ma’ruf’s National Campaign Team must also revoke their charges and apologize for having accused BPN of making hoax statements when accusing the KPU of electoral fraud.

Another thing to note is that it is improper for the police to process the reports made by Jokowi volunteers of Hairul Anas, an IT expert graduated from the Bandung Institute of Technology. Anas is reported to have made hoax statements, while he is the expert witness brought in by BPN in the hearing in Bawaslu. The IT errors described by Anas were confirmed by Bawaslu judges.