Polemic of Cardboard Boxes for 2019 Elections

Penulis: Safrezi Fitra

Editor: Safrezi Fitra

19/12/2018, 14.04 WIB

KPU guarantees the ballot boxes made of cardboard are safe, strong and can save budget. It has received approval from all party factions in the DPR.

Telaah - Kotak Suara Kardus
ra2studio/123rf

The General Elections Commission (KPU) decision to use ballot boxes made of cardboard in the 2019 General Election (Pemilu) has drawn heated debate. Some consider the ballot box to be less robust and open the chance for fraudulence in the election, even though the use of this type of ballot boxes has been running for the past five years and has been approved by the government and parliament.

This polemic was initially related to the problem of ballot boxes being sent to several regions. During shipping a few days ago, about 70 ballot boxes received by KPU Bantul in Central Java were damaged due to exposure to water. On 11 December 2018, floods damaged 2,065 ballot boxes and 110 voting booths in Badung, Bali.

Supporters of Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno, the presidential candidate pair with campaign number 02, highlighted the damage to the ballot boxes. During a plenary meeting of the DPTHP-2 recapitulation on Saturday (12/15), Gerindra Party Secretary General Ahmad Muzani even questioned the KPU's move to use cardboard boxes. He doubted the strength of the ballot boxes that could easily be destroyed when exposed to water and cause damage to ballots.

Sandiaga Uno even said that the use of a cardboard ballot box will actually increase the possibility of fraudulence. "There are potential fraudulence and difficulties that will be faced because the supporting tools for the 2019 Elections, or in this case the ballot boxes, are likely to be in poor condition or not up to par,” he said at the Grand Cempaka Hotel, Jakarta, Monday (12/17).

Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno’s National Winning Team (BPN) also criticized the KPU’s policy of using ballot boxes made of cardboard in the 2019 Elections. They also doubted the election credibility. This further adds to people’s doubts about the credibility of the upcoming elections. “Currently, there is widespread news that the 2019 Elections will run unfairly, starting from the issue of the scattering of electronic resident cards [KTP] to voter lists {DPT] that are still problematic,” BPN member Chusni Mubarok said, as quoted by Antara, on Saturday (12/15).

Kotak Suara Pemilu 2019
KPU Commissioners Evi Novida Ginting Manik (left) and Pramono Ubaid Tanthowi (right) were showing ballot boxes made of cardboard at the KPU Central Office in Jakarta, Friday (12/14/2018). The procurement of this type of ballot boxes for simultaneous elections in 2019 can save half the budget rather than buying transparent ballot boxes made of plastic. (ANTARA FOTO/Reno Esnir/pd)

KPU immediately responded to the criticism. According to KPU Chairman Arief Budiman, the criticism should be delivered five years ago. “How come they still do not believe it? This type of ballot boxes has been used in four elections. It is also used in many elections held by countries that I have visited.”

Some of the ballot boxes made of cardboard were used in the 2014 Presidential Election (Pilpres) and Legislative Election (Pileg). Furthermore, the boxes were also used in the Regional Head Elections (Pilkada) in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. At the time, this type of ballot boxes replaced the tin or aluminium boxes that were damaged and lost.

Arief guarantees the quality of the ballot boxes made of cardboard is not less good than that made of aluminium. This was proven by spraying water into the ballot boxes. Evidently, not a single one was broken. In terms of strength, he sat on the ballot box and did not break it. The cardboard boxes are able to withstand loads of up to 80 kilograms (kg). Meanwhile, the maximum weight of ballots in each box is only 3-4 kg.

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