Indonesia’s election commission stops publishing preliminary vote count on online platform

KPU commissioner Idham Holik said the body had chosen to focus solely on “publishing the official results of the election based on tiered tabulation”.

Dio Suhenda

Dio Suhenda

The Jakarta Post


General Elections Commission chair Hasyim Asy'ari shows a partial vote tally for the 2024 presidential election at a press briefing at the commission’s building in Jakarta on Feb. 27, 2024. PHOTO: ANTARA/THE JAKARTA POST

March 7, 2024

JAKARTA – The General Elections Commission (KPU) has stopped publicly presenting the preliminary vote tally for the 2024 general election and associated graphics on its online platform the Tabulation Information System (Sirekap) following weeks of complaints from political parties and observers about the application’s shortcomings and errors.

The elections body decided to stop sharing the preliminary results on Tuesday night. When The Jakarta Post accessed the platform on Wednesday afternoon, the website showed only photographed manual vote tabulation forms, known as C1 forms, uploaded by poll administrators from the country’s 820,000 polling stations.

KPU commissioner Idham Holik said the body had chosen to focus solely on “publishing the official results of the election based on tiered tabulation”.

“The publication of the preliminary vote count has been stopped, so the public will now only be receiving more certain information regarding the results of the general election,” he told the Post on Wednesday.

Ahead of voting day on Feb. 14, the KPU presented the Sirekap application as a way for the public to monitor the vote tabulation process before the poll body announced the official results of the presidential and legislative elections in March.

The online platform converted the figures from the photographed C1 forms into digital data to be viewed by the public. The website later began presenting the preliminary results in charts.

The official election results will be determined by the KPU’s manual tiered vote count, slated to conclude by March 20.

Sirekap made its debut in the 2020 simultaneous regional elections, with the KPU hailing it as a resource for electoral transparency.

The platform’s redeployment in this year’s election initially earned the KPU plaudits from election watchdogs, which saw Sirekap as another means to monitor the election results.

However, Sirekap was soon the subject of a public uproar over its apparent failure to reliably read vote tallies from the photographed C1 forms. Social media users and political parties found instances of inflated voter numbers and irregularities in the vote tally for certain candidates.

The camps of presidential candidates Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo claimed to have found inflated vote counts for presumptive winner Prabowo Subianto, leading to allegations that Sirekap had been engineered to favor the Gerindra Party patron.

The allegations were followed by a letter from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which backed Ganjar’s candidacy, demanding that the KPU stop using Sirekap and return to a strictly manual tally. The party also called for a forensic audit of the application and its data.

Prabowo’s running mate, presumptive vice president-elect Gibran Rakabuming Raka, is the eldest son of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

Observers have also recently pointed out what they claim is a suspicious bump in votes for the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), which is chaired by Jokowi’s youngest son Kaesang Pangarep.

In just over three days of counting, the party gained 230,000 votes, according to Sirekap’s preliminary count on Sunday, putting it less than 1 percentage point away, in the partially completed tally, from the 4 percent of the total vote required to send representatives to the House of Representatives.

On Sunday, the United Development Party (PPP), whose future in the House appeared to be hanging by a thread according to unofficial election results by pollsters, claimed to have found several anomalies in Sirekap; more than 30,000 votes for the party had temporarily disappeared from the platform’s preliminary results.

The accusations of irregularities in Sirekap have added to the list of controversies surrounding the KPU’s handling of the general election, casting further doubt on the election’s integrity and the poll body’s ability to reliably determine its results.

Just as the election commission started its national-level vote tabulation last week, KPU chair Hasyim Asy’ari suspended the meeting for several hours as all the KPU’s commissioners had been summoned for an ethics hearing at the Election Organization Ethics Council (DKPP).

The hearing was to address a report accusing the KPU of unaccountable and unprofessional actions that led to breaches of personal data in the 2024 permanent voter list.

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