Vote-buying and ballot fraud are voters’ chief concerns about next year’s general elections, a new study by the People’s Voter Education Network has revealed.
Thirty-four percent of the public were worried about the two points People’s Voter Education Network (JPPR) deputy coordinator Masykurudin Hafidz told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.
Masykurudin said 14 percent of eligible voters were also worried that general election organizers might use their positions to influence results.
R espondents also expressed concerns about intimidation.
Masykurudin said the study focused on voter perception of the implementation of next year’s general elections. The study was conducted in Jakarta, East Java, East Nusa, involving 1,003 respondents.
Masykurudin said the study also found that eligible voters thought vote-buying the most offensive crime against democracy.
According to the study, respondents considered vote-buying as poisonous to the country’s election process.
“We came back with very strong views about vote-buying. Election candidates need to take this public perception as a warning against using campaign money inappropriately,” he said.
Masykurudin said the public was also worried that vote tallies from polling stations would be changed.
He said respondents were concerned that inaccurate records of those eligible to vote could be misused to mark up votes.
“Manipulation of official voter lists has influenced results in the past, and people are aware of that.
“Previously, election organizers from polling booth committees and other officials have manipulated their records to suit their interests. Fourteen percent of eligible voters are worrying about this,” he said.
Eligible voters said they were concerned about the impartiality of election organizers.
Respondents cited cases contested in the State Administrative Court (PTUN) and Election Organizers Ethics Council (DKPP) that showed there have been numerous irregularities in past elections.
They also cited cases in the Constitutional Court (MK), whose former chief justice Akil Mochtar was arrested on corruption charges.
Masykurudin said it was now time to hold a clean leadership selection process, adding that an untarnished victory would increase public trust in democracy and the general election system.
Indonesia has won widespread praise for its move towards democracy, but election fraud has cast a shadow over hopes for a smooth democratic transition in 2014.