They may be behind bars, but they are not disenfranchised.
In the run up to the July 11 Jakarta gubernatorial elections, poll officials are preparing to set up voting booths for prison inmates in the capital.
Turman Hutapea, the warden at East Jakarta’s Cipinang Penitentiary, said on Friday that seven voting booths would be set up in the prison to accommodate the 2,852 inmates.
However, only those prisoners who are registered residents of Jakarta will be allowed to vote.
“In the event that an inmate is not in possession of his identity card, we will still allow him to vote as long as we can verify that he is a registered resident of Jakarta,” Turman said.
Officials from the Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPU), along with 115 inmates, staged a voting day simulation at the correctional institute on Friday afternoon.
KPU official Soemarmo said at the event that the commission wanted to inform all valid voters of their rights and to allow them access to the ballot box.
He also identified to the inmates, the six candidates running for governor whose pictures are on the ballot papers.
“Before casting your vote by perforating the box of the candidate of your choice, you need to make sure the ballot paper is fully unfolded, that you have fully studied it and that it has not been perforated,” he explained. “If the ballot paper you receive is perforated, you may ask for another one before entering the voting booth.
“What is most important is that you cast your vote free of coercion or force.”
Chairil Anwar, head of the North Jakarta office of the KPU, told inmates that prison officials would give them enough time to vote.
The Jakarta KPU is ensuring that the officials at the prison everything they need for election day, including a copy of the voter list of inmates.
“We want to verify that those on the voter roll are either in possession of their identity card or can prove that they are residents of Jakarta,” Soemarmo said.
The KPU will also inform inmates of the various stances and policies of the six candidates on Monday.
The KPU’s prison roadshow will continue at the correctional institutes at Pondok Bambu in East Jakarta, and Salemba in Central Jakarta.