Website counter

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Voter registration list

Before entering polling sites, the Thai voters show the ID card to the polling site officers. The officers will check it, and take a note in the voter registration list. Here people can use their current ID card or expired or other document that issued by the Thai Government with picture and the ID number.

Voter registration list displayed in the front of head of village's house in Satun Province, South Thailand, June 2011 

Thailand does not have big problem with voter registration list because the population data is well organized and computerized thank to the system of 13 digit numbers on ID card. This number is used for identification in all documents. Some people may change their name, due to some reasons. And it is allowed by the custom and the law. However they can not change the 13 digit numbers.

The voter registration list both for advance voting and general election is displayed in the front of government building offices from province until pooyaiban (head of village) office or house a couple days before election day. People can check their names and the location of polling sites easily. And if there is a complaint such as the name is not on the list, they can go to the next sub district office to register themselves.

In Indonesia, voter registration list both temporary (DPS) and permanently (DPT) is a big problem and one of the election fraud. The accuracy of voter registration list is doubtful. KIPP Indonesia finds the number of voter is marked up improperly almost in every part in Indonesia. Many voters complained that their names were not on the list. On the other hand and it’s not secret that some names belong to the dead persons, children, teenagers, non residence, even fictitious names were on the list!

The main aim of voter registration list is actually for logistic needs such as to provide enough ballot papers. With the mark up of voter registration list, some allegedly frauds occur: the misuse of the ballot paper rest and increasing of election cost.

According to the rule, the rest of ballot papers should be put in special envelope. But if the rest of ballot paper because of the fictitious voters, which party will take the advantage? The cost of election will be increased, because for every name on the list, the Indonesian government will provide Rp 200.000,- (= USD 25) for the logistic need. How much money will be corrupted and to where does the money go?    

In legislative election 2009 and also in the other previous election, many people in Indonesia had problems to cast a vote, because their names were not on the current registration list both temporary and permanent. The effect was that they were not sent the invitation to vote. It was weird, because their names were on the list in the last election. The KPPS denied them, because they could not show the invitation before entering the polling sites. The denial was correct according to the regulation, however, millions of voters lose their political rights because of the invalid voter registration list. And after long and sharp discussions, finally KPU issued a policy that any voters in that area could cast a vote just to show their ID card, even though without the invitation.

Although the voter registration list in Thailand is already well organized, the problem still occurred, like some voters complained that their names are still on the registration list. They wanted to remove their names from advance voting registration list. They want to change, but they don’t know how to do that. ECT has already given the explanation through many brochures, for people who want to change their registration. However, many people especially in the village don’t want to read the explanation.
Note :
  1. The author is International Election Observer in some countries in Asia, incl. Thailand Parliamentary Election, 3rd July 2011. In Indonesia, she is the Head of Foreign Affairs Department, member of KIPP Indonesia since 1998.
  2. This article is published in The Global Review, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment