April 16, 2024

Transparent Ballot Box, According to the Elections Law

Article 341 paragraph (1) of the Elections Law renders a controversy after an article in Republika Daily Newspaper on July 28th titled “There Might be Articles in the Elections Law Specially Requested by Politicians”. Article 341 paragraph (1) states that the Elections Commission shall provide transparent ballot boxes for the election process. For many, this provision is deemed as controversial because the Elections Commission will need to provide more than two and a half million of ballot boxes for the 2019 National Elections.

Members of the Elections Commission do not know that this provision in the newly passed Elections Law is even exist. According to the Chairman of the Commission, Arief Budiman, during the making process of the Law, members of the Parliament did not intend to involve his team to discuss about that particular provision. Members of the Commission only become aware of the privision after the Bill is passed into a Law.

A Parliament member who was also the Chief of the Special Committee for the new Elections Law, Muhammad Lukman Edy, confirms Arief Budiman’s statement. According to Lukman Edy, Parliament members did not ask the Commission’s opinion because it is not mandatory for Parliament members to ask the opinion of the Commission’s members.

“That’s true (we didn’t ask the Commission’s opinion). We wanted to prevent any undue agreement with the Commission. They should just obey the Law,” says Lukman Edy (07/31).

Edy then says that the purpose of the provision regarding transparent ballot boxes is to prevent fraud in the elections. The idea to include the provision in the new Elections Law came to light upon hearing the report submitted by the Elections Commission that the currently available ballot boxes have been damaged and not suitable anymore for usage.

In addition, the upcoming elections will be held concurrently and every polling station needs five ballot boxes instead of just three. This means, the Elections Commission will need to substitute all the ballot boxes anyway, so that all ballot boxes will uniformly transparent.

Lukman Edy then provides example from other countries, like Nepal, to show that non-transparent ballot box has been substituted with transparent box in many election process.