Papuan Ghost Voters Haunt Election Officials

Papuan Ghost Voters Haunt Election Officials

Jakarta Globe
Christian Motte

Jayapura. The House of Representatives has asked election officials in Papua Province to immediately resolve the issue of an additional 128,000 mystery voters from Yahukimo district registered to participate in the upcoming legislative and presidential elections.

Papua is just one province that has badly botched registered voter lists.

Edi Miharti, deputy chairman of House Commission II overseeing home affairs, said that printing companies would not be allowed to supply ballot papers to the province based on the faulty data.
There are fears that surplus ballots for the upcoming elections — not only those in Papua — could be used for vote rigging.

Miharti, speaking on Thursday, blamed the Yahukimo General Elections Commission, or KPUD, for supplying faulty information, a charge the commission denied on Friday.

“To address the issue of additional voters in Yahukimo,” Miharti said, “a government regulation-in-lieu-of-law, or perpu, will be issued to deal [specifically] with the matter.”

After meeting with district and municipal election commissions and election monitoring agencies at the Papua election commission office, Miharti said he hoped the issue would be dealt with before then, however.

“I hope the issue of the more than 100,000 surplus voters is resolved immediately so that the voter list corresponds to the number of real voters,” he said.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a perpu on Thursday for the upcoming legislative and presidential election to allow the KPU to amend badly flawed voter registration lists.

The chairman of the Papua Elections Commission also urged the Yahukimo KPUD to immediately supply the correct information to the national General Elections Commission, but Yahukimo KPUD secretary Elly Rumy took issue with that and the criticism leveled against her organization.

“We have only submitted voter count data to the Papua Elections Commission, and have never sent any data to the central elections commission,” she said. “That means that the statement made by the chairman of the Papua Elections Commission is wrong.”

She also denied that the number of voters in Yahukimo district had risen from 215,000 to 340,000, citing data from the Yahukimo Population and Housing Agency listing the district’s population at 215,254.

That was the exact figure submitted to the Papua Elections Commission in December 2008.
“We have sent the voter count document to the Papua Elections Commission, so that is the number of voters who will participate in the upcoming elections,” she said.