Jakarta's Governor Election to Use E-Counting System

Tech in Asia

Jakarta's Governor Election Committee is to use what's called an "e-counting system" to tally the votes in the upcoming second round of Jakarta's governor election. To implement this program, the committee will team up with Forum Elektronik Demokrasi Jakarta (which means "Jakarta Electronic Democracy Forum" and is also known as FeD Jakarta), an NGO which focuses on improving the use of information technology to support the practice of good democracy.

Governor elections in Indonesia have been notorious for generating conflict among supporters of each running candidate. The most common source of conflict is when a losing candidate accuses the winning one of having cheated the vote. This has resulted in numerous lawsuits in many regions in Indonesia. The e-counting system is meant to tackle this problem by providing a parallel vote tabulation (PVT) that will serve as independent verification of the election results. Although most of PVT is performed by taking statistical samples instead of actually counting all of the results, the planned e-counting system will count all of the vote results.

Speaking to Republika, Ramdansyah, chief of the committee, said,

This will only serve as verification mechanism, [as we hope] to build public's trust to the committee's vote result.

As they're developing the e-counting system, FeD Jakarta has started an open recruitment for volunteers. FeD Jakarta aims to gather at least 15,059 volunteers so they can man each voting station with one volunteer. Volunteers are expected to present in each voting station when vote result is being counted and then send the tally to FeD Jakarta along with a photograph of the result that they take themselves.

Although FeD Jakarta's result is only allowed to be announced after the committee has released their version of the results, I still hope that the e-counting system will provide a more detailed and faster final tabulation data. Because, based on the first round of Jakarta's Governor Election, I rate the committee's tabulation poorly as they still have not been able to provide detailed tabulation data in their own site up until now.

[Source: Republika, image source: Flickr user secretlondon]