February 26, 2024

Fadli Ramadhanil: The Implementation of Election Technology Should Accommodate the Interests of EMBs, Not Politicians in Parliament

Members of Commission II of the Parliament argue that the new members of the Election Commission (KPU) for term of 2017-2022 should be committed to implement electronic voting (e-voting) technology for the 2019 National Concurrent Elections. Members of Commission II include this commitment to e-voting as one of the requirement for the new KPU member candidates to be selected. A researcher from the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), Fadli Ramadhanil, says that the decision to force the candidates to commit to e-voting implementation is misguided. Here is our full interview with Fadli (02/20).

Parliament Members want the new members of KPU to commit to e-voting implementation for the 2019 National Elections. What is your opinion on this?

That is misguided. The decision to implement e-voting technology should not be based on the pressure from Parliament.

What should it be based on?

The decision to implement e-voting technology should be based on the needs of election management bodies (EMBs). Those legislators in the Parliament should remember that, so far, vote counting process has never been a significant problem in our elections.

What is the risk of implementing e-voting in 2019 Elections?

So far, the feasibility of implementing e-voting has only been assessed by the Technology Assessment and Implementation Body (BPPT). This is clearly very risky. We can’t just implement new technologies without more rigorous assessment.

Are you saying the assessment conducted by BPPT is not enough?

BPPT have only assessed the e-voting implementation at village elections level and a few samples from local elections. Meanwhile the upcoming 2019 Elections is a national-scale election. The 2019 Elections is clearly more complex than mere village elections.

What are our current problems and needs regarding the voting and vote counting process in elections?

I repeat: voting and vote counting process have never been a significant problem in our elections. The problem we need to resolve is regarding the vote recapitulation process, where frauds and violations often occur.

What kind of technology can resolve the problem?

We need a technology that can help election officials to quickly recap and send the recap result from village/neighborhood to regency/municipal office. Voters want to know the election result immediately and, that way, KPU can keep the election result to be trustworthy. []