Jakarta. Indonesia's General Elections Commission, known as the KPU, has banned pollsters from publishing "quick count" results from the simultaneous regional elections before 3 p.m. on Wednesday (15/02) to avoid voters getting unduly influenced by the partial results.
The KPU registers nearly 50 million voters in today's regional elections for governors, mayors and district heads in 101 regions throughout the country.
Around 7.1 million voters are registered in the country's capital city of Jakarta, where the race for governor is turning into one of the more divisive political battles in the country's democratic era.
The Jakarta election has inflamed religious tensions and has been colored by numerous intrigues involving senior politicians that include plot accusations, legal battles and accusations of conspiracy.
Ferry Kurni Rizkiansyah, a commissioner at the KPU, said people are expected to go to polling stations from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., so if pollsters put quick count results during that time, the numbers — which can be inaccurate — may sway the voters' decision.
"But I'm sure many people have already decided [who to vote]," Ferry said on Wednesday.
A two-hour gap to announce the quick-count results from the official closing time at polling stations is seen as appropriate.
"We also do a quick count, which can be accessed at the KPU website at pilkada2017.kpu.go.id," Ferry said.
Ferry did not say whether exit polls — a poll taken immediately from voters after they exit polling stations — are allowed to be published after the official ballot stations close at 1 p.m.