KPU’s endeavor to prevent the tragedy of KPPS’ death from repeating itself in the 2024 election –

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Jakarta ( – The death of hundreds of polling organizers (KPPS) officers in the 2019 elections has become a heartbreaking tragedy in the history of organizing democratic parties in the country.

As quoted from the “Results of the Interdisciplinary Study of the Death and Illness of 2019 Election Officers” compiled by the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (Fisip) Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, the Indonesian General Election Commission (KPU) on May 4 2019 submitted a total of 440 2019 election officials died and 3,788 people became sick.

Reflecting on this tragedy, the KPU RI has begun to formulate a number of steps to prevent the death of a KPPS officer from happening again on voting day for the 2024 election, which is scheduled for February 14, 2024.

KPU RI member Idham Holik conveyed these anticipatory steps, including the KPU’s decision to limit the age of KPPS officers.

If in the 2019 Election the KPU only set the minimum age limit for KPPS officers to be 17 years old, in the 2024 Election, a maximum age limit was added, namely 55 years. The decision was based on a study conducted by the Indonesian KPU involving several parties, from the Ministry of Health, academics and election activists.

The results of this study show that those in the age range of 17 to 55 years have better immunity or body resistance than other ages. Thus, the KPU believes that KPPS officers aged 17 to 55 years can carry out their duties properly and are not hampered by health factors.

Next, the KPU will also immediately follow up on a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health in order to ensure that KPPS officers are part of the agency ad hoc election organizers are in a healthy condition. KPU is working with the Ministry of Health to provide health check facilities for KPPS officers.

Previously, the KPU had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health regarding the health of the KPPS officers in 2021.

The third anticipatory step formulated by the KPU is to present the two-panel method in counting the votes for the 2024 Election. With the two panels for counting the votes, the KPPS, which totaled seven people, will be divided into two groups.

The first group is in charge of panel A or the first panel to calculate the vote acquisition results for the presidential and vice-presidential elections as well as members of the Republic of Indonesia DPD. Then in panel B or the second panel, KPPS officers count the votes acquired for the election of members of the DPR RI, Provincial DPRD and Regency/Municipal DPRD.

Positive and negative sides

Regarding the design of the vote counting method through the two panels, member of the Advisory Council for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) Titi Anggraini who is also an election lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia (UI) believes that implementing the vote counting method through the two panels can indeed lighten the workload. KPPS officers in counting the votes for the 2024 election results.

Even so, such a method has the potential to reduce the access of election supervisors as well as voters or the public in supervising vote counting. As an example, when the vote counting was carried out, election supervisors or the public could not simultaneously supervise the counting of votes for the results of the presidential and vice-presidential elections, members of the DPD, DPR RI, Provincial DPRD and Regency/Municipal DPRD.

Election supervisors or voters and the public can only participate in one vote counting panel. The final impact is that the quality of accountability for vote counting for the 2024 election has the potential to decrease compared to previous elections.

Therefore, in implementing the two-panel method, the KPU must provide a large space at the polling station (TPS). Reflecting on the organizers of vote counting in previous elections, there are still a number of polling stations located in cramped locations. Thus, if the KPU implements vote counting with two panels in narrow TPS, it can distort the concentration of KPPS officers.

Therefore, the KPU should continue to carry out simulations of the procedure for counting votes with the new method, so that it can identify problems that arise during the simulation. So far, the KPU has held three vote counting simulations using the new method, namely in South Tangerang City (Banten), Bogor City (West Java) and Palembang City (South Sumatra).

In addition to limiting the age, checking the health of KPPS officers, and presenting a two-panel vote counting method, the KPU is also carrying out the mandate of the Constitutional Court, namely extending the vote counting time for 12 hours from the end of the vote counting period on voting day for the 2024 election.

That way, KPPS officers are given more space to complete the vote count and write the official report on the 2024 election vote counting up to 12 hours from the time the vote counting ends at 23.59 WIB on 14 February 2024.

Next, the KPU is also designing innovative policies related to the design of forms that will be used by KPPS officers in documenting the results of the 2024 election vote count. The KPU will present a simpler form design and ensure that it does not consume a lot of energy from KPPS officers and utilizes the Recapitulation Information System application or Sirekap.

All of these endeavors will be included in the draft KPU regulation regarding voting and vote counting for the 2024 election. As stated by the Chairman of the Indonesian KPU, Hasyim Asy’ari, all of the new policies presented have the main objective of ensuring that vote counting by KPPS goes well, while at the same time ensuring incidents where many KPPS officers died, such as in the 2019 election, have not recurred.

Editor: Enter M. Astro


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