Polling officials have acknowledged that the data used to compile the voter list for the Jakarta gubernatorial next week was flawed from the very beginning.
Juri Ardiantoro, the former chairman of the Jakarta General Elections Commission (KPUD), said on Tuesday that he had long questioned the integrity of the raw data obtained from the city’s population office.
“From the beginning, my colleagues at the KPUD and I debated both the accuracy of the data and the source,” he said.
“We agreed with the Panwaslu [Jakarta Election Supervisory Committee] that the raw data we received couldn’t be 100 percent accurate.”
Juri, who served as the KPUD chairman until March, was testifying at an ethics tribunal investigating his successor Dahliah Umar, who has been reported by three of the six Jakarta gubernatorial candidates for refusing to revise the voter list, despite acknowledging the presence of thousands of ineligible voters.
The tribunal, which was held by the Election Organizers Ethics Council (DKPP), also heard that although Juri and the other KPUD members had doubts about the raw data, they were powerless to do anything about it.
“Even though we had our own conclusions regarding certain points, we were unable to refute the data because we didn’t have the legal powers to do so,” Juri said.
He added that the only avenue open to the KPUD at that time was to verify a small portion of the questionable data by publishing it on their website and appealing to residents to spot and report mistakes.
Also testifying at the tribunal was Ramdansyah, the Panwaslu chairman, who said it was not surprising that the final voter list had become a problem given that it was based on “garbage” data.
“There’s the expression: ‘Garbage in, garbage out.’ If the raw data for the voter list is garbage, then clearly the final voter list will be garbage, too,” he said.
He also said it was a “clumsy mistake” for the KPUD to accept the raw data from the population office in January “without reserve,” but he added that both the KPUD and Panwaslu believed back then that there would be enough time to refine the list.
Ramdansyah said a third benchmark was the number of Jakarta residents registered for the electronic ID card, or eKTP, which the Home Affairs Ministry put at 5.6 million in late April. He added that the eKTP data could not be used to determine the final voter list because there was no legal standing for such a move.
Juri said the KPUD had been urged to use the eKTP data, but it knew there were major problems with it. The main one, he continued, was that the figure of 5.6 million was only the number of people in Jakarta that the Home Affairs Ministry had targeted to register in 2012.
The ministry insists that the figure is the total number of Jakarta residents eligible for an ID card, and it has declared its eKTP registration program in the capital “100 percent complete.”
The age at which Indonesians are required to get an eKTP is 17, which is the same as the voting age.
The population office listed 7.5 million eligible voters in Jakarta, while the voter list from the 2009 presidential election identified 7.6 million. The final list to be used in the July 11 election stands at almost seven million voters.
The ethics tribunal, which had been expected to make a ruling on Dahliah on Tuesday, will resume later this week.