On a bright Monday morning on July 29th, residents of Mendoyo Dangin Tukad, in Jembrana, Bali, lined up to choose their next village chief. Most wore traditional Balinese attire – batik sarongs– with kebaya for the women and a headscarf (destar) for the men. The election voting was far from traditional, as election officials said it was the most technologically advanced ever held in Indonesia, using touch-screen devices that verify voters’ identity via their national ID cards. Implementation of the e-voting system was a collaborative effort by the Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and the Jembrana regional administration. BPPT provided the four e-voting devices, each worth about Rp 10 million ($1,000). The new technology is a breakthrough for Indonesia, which plans to implement it in other parts of the country, according to the head of BPPT, Marzan Iskandar.
“We are very happy the system could be implemented for the first time in Bali, as this will be a pioneer of many other elections. The e-vote village chief election will become a miniature of a system that will be implemented across our country,” he said.
All election workers were trained and certified by the BPPT and the Indonesian Technological Auditors Association (IATI), he said. The system prevents any attempt to vote more than once, because voters use their electronic identity card.
… Many Mendoyo Dangin Tukad voters appeared sceptical about the new system as they’d never previously voted by computer. Local election committee members patiently guided voters through the process, one-by-one. “I’d rather vote using ballot papers than using a computer system. It is harder. The traditional system is far easier for me,” said 55-year-old voter Wayan Ngidep.