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Government Pushes Election Commission to Digitalize General Election

Arfi Bambani
Simultaneous Village Head Elections in Probolinggo Regency
Simultaneous Village Head Elections in Probolinggo Regency

TheIndonesia.id - Minister of Communication and Information Johnny G. Plate mentioned the digitalization of the general election (election) during a meeting with the General Elections Commission (KPU). Digitalization, said the minister, offers effectiveness and efficiency.

"The adoption of digital technology in elections has the benefit of achieving effectiveness and efficiency in the legitimate political contestation process, both at the voter stage, voter identity verification, voting, vote counting to transmission and tabulation of election results," said Plate during the Election Digitalization for Digitalization Indonesia Coordination Meeting which took place in a hybrid manner from Bali and quoted on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.

He assessed that it is very possible to digitalize elections because many countries have implemented e-voting. One of the countries that has already conducted digital voting is Estonia, which he calls the world's leading country in digital elections.

"Through free, fair, and secure online voting, as well as through an e-vote system or internet voting. Estonia has been doing it since 2005 and it already has a digital electoral system at the city, state, and EU level that has been used by 46.7 percent of the population. So it's not new, including this KPU has been preparing for it for a long time," said Plate.

Minister Plate also mentioned India which has started to develop digital-based elections with blockchain technology to support voting remotely. "Hopefully it can be achieved in the upcoming Indian general election in 2024, just like us. So if we do benchmarks and studies, the exchange of information and knowledge, as well as experience can be done with them," he said.

Ministry of Communication is citing data from the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance that e-voting has been carried out in 34 countries in various forms and levels. Digital voting involves election management bodies on a national and regional scale.

Digital elections are not only a matter of process but also community readiness. Community readiness is important to maintain the level of trust in every stage of the election, one of which is during data verification and re-verification.

According to him, the digitalization of elections is a necessity as a practice of democracy and a manifestation of the sovereignty of the Indonesian people.

In terms of digital elections, Johnny sees that there are four emerging characteristics, namely the existence of digital innovation as part of the solution; data flow and communication; acceleration of the rate of communication; and commodification of electoral data. The existence of adequate ICT infrastructure is important so that digital transformation in elections can be carried out.

Ministry of Communication is currently accelerating the development of telecommunications infrastructure in Indonesia, which will become the foundation for the national digital transformation agenda and narrow the digital divide.

The coordination meeting in Bali was attended by commissioners, structural and functional officials of the General Elections Commission.

Election Efficiency

KPU itself has discoursed on election efficiency by opening up the possibility of digitalization. However, one thing that has been considered is that simplifying the design of ballots and forms may save the election logistics budget by around 50 to 60 percent.

The simplification of the ballot design is still likely to invite some debate, especially if the contents contained in it violate the mandate of Law Number 7 of 2017 concerning General Elections. Member of Commission II of the House of Representatives Zulfikar Arse Sadikin, suggested that instead of simplifying the design of the ballots, he proposed that the RI KPU should spread out the locations for printing ballots so as to save on shipping costs.

“For example, regarding the logistics of where the ballot papers are printed, they are distributed so that the delivery points are closer to the location. Is it possible or not for the RI KPU, as has been done before, who is the printer in the east, who in the west," said the Golkar Party politician.

In addition, he suggested that if the Indonesian KPU wanted to make efforts to save the 2024 election budget, the official report on the vote count could be transferred to digital form.

Tag # election digitalization # indonesia digital # general election 2024 # indonesia election 2024 # indonesia general election # general election

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