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KPU launches computerized vote counting JAKARTA - A new-and-improved computerized vote counting system was ready for the presidential election and would help to reduce vote-rigging in the poll, the General Elections Commission (KPU) announced on Sunday. As in the legislative election and the first round of the presidential election, the computerized vote counting will provide the public with updates from polling stations nationwide.
KPU chairman Nazaruddin Sjamsuddin said although the computerized vote counting was not official, it would provide a useful comparison to the results of the manual vote-counting. "The manual aggregation of the votes will take a long time to complete, and the computerized system will help voters learn about the results early on," Nazaruddin said at the launch of the system here.
The incumbent, President Megawati Soekarnoputri, and her challenger, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, are contesting the country's first-ever direct presidential election. As part of efforts to prevent vote-rigging, both camps have pledged to deploy one million observers each to over 580,000 poll stations across the country. Nazaruddin said the transparent system meant voters would know if there was a wide discrepancy between the computerized and the manual vote counts.
He said the computerized count could also serve to diffuse tensions during the post-election period, when voters were anxious to know about the election results. KPU head of computerized vote counting Chusnul Mar'iyah said data from polling stations would start to stream into the KPU data center, set up at the Borobudur Hotel, Central Jakarta, on Monday afternoon. The data center, which will feed information about the count to the media, will operate until Sept. 25.
The computerized vote counting requires over 12,000 data entry operators who will enter data provided by subdistrict election officials after it is collected from polling stations. The data should reach the KPU at a quicker pace than in previous polls, as it will directly feed into the data center, by-passing the commission's now-redundant bureaucracy. The KPU has allotted Rp 9 billion (US$1 million) to accommodate the data entry staff during the tabulation process.
Chusnul said earlier the latest system would be more resistant to possible attacks from hackers, who had broken into the data in previous elections. The House of Representatives (DPR) budgetary committee has rejected the Rp 40 billion budget for the computerized vote counting in the runoff and demanded an audit of the system. The committee suspected there had been mark-ups in the price of the system's hardware.



Posted in Elections @ 20 September 2004 00:05 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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