Though it’s been tested on a small scale in local elections, many commentators believe it’s too soon to implement e-voting nationwide in Indonesia’s 2014 election. The technology has been tested in local elections in Pandeglang, Banten, West Java; the Jembrana Regency of Bali; and the Bantaeng Regency in South Sulawesi – but the experience was mixed, according to politicians and academicians. Idrus Paturusi, rector at Hassanuddin University in Makassar, praised what he said was efficiency and accuracy of e-voting tested at selected polling stations during an April 17th election in South Sulawesi, according to a recent opinion piece in The Jakarta Post. Another positive review came from Muhammad Alhamid, chairman of the Election Supervisory Committee (Bawaslu), who said e-voting could save money and eliminate potential violations during ballot counting. But scepticism about relying on the system nationwide next year is widespread.
According to Manik Hapsara, a professor of Industrial Technology at the Islamic University of Indonesia in Yogyakarta, e-voting is not yet considered safe and could potentially have a huge negative impact.
“E-voting could allow for the inclusion of the interests of those who want to disrupt the process and the results of the election,” Manik said in a Republika interview April 26th.
“I think Indonesia is not ready to implement e-voting in the 2014 election,” he told Khabar Southeast Asia. “For it to be done, the question will arise whether we want to entrust our social life, politics, and economy in a system that is not reliable”.
He warned that the failures in the implementation of e-voting could reduce public confidence in 2014 general election results and lead to a costly repeat of the polling.
The General Election Commission (KPU) evaluated e-voting in local elections as successful, Manik said. “However, the internet connection used to transmit data to the tabulation centre had so many security flaws.”