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Monday, April 20, 2009


Press Release

A systematic observation conducted by e-CARD showed that the opening process in polling stations in Aceh went smoothly. The majority of volunteers (74.4%) did not find any problems in the opening process. However, the opening procedure of polling stations took longer than expected. Almost half of the polling stations (47.3%) began voting between 8.00 and 9.00 am. In 19.6% of the polling stations, the first voter entered the polling station after 9:00 am. This was because of the village level election officials’ mandated procedures related to preparing four different ballot papers (DPR, DPD, DPRA, and DPRK). As a consequence, the time allocated for voting was shortened to only three to four hours.

Only a small number of violations were reported. In Banda Aceh, Meuraxa sub-district, Punge
Jurong village, several party witnesses were not allowed to enter polling station number four during the vote count. In West Aceh district, Bubon sub-district, Beurawang Village, polling station number one, a volunteer observed that a village level election official was partisan and directed voters to vote for a particular political party.

Concerns about unprepared logistics were not found in the field. Ninety-three percent (93.6%) of
polling stations had received all election materials before the opening. The majority of polling
stations (90.2%) had voting booths that guaranteed the secrecy of the vote. Ninety percent (90.2%) of polling stations showed the empty ballot boxes to the political party witnesses before being sealed. Eighty-eight percent (88.1%) of polling stations displayed the final voters list. However, only 60.4% of the polling stations displayed the final candidates list.

Participation of political party witnesses to safeguard the election process was very high. From the data received, 83.3% of polling stations had more than one party witness.

The above findings are based on the data received from a Sample Based Observation (SBO) in 438 polling stations in 23 districts/ cities in Aceh. These polling stations were randomly selected using a statistical methodology (cluster random sampling) that is internationally accepted and always proven accurate, including in several local elections in Indonesia, particularly in the 2006 Aceh gubernatorial election. The margin of error in this SBO is +/- 2 percent with a confidence level of 95%. This activity is conducted by e-CARD with technical assistance from the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).

More findings related to the voting and counting process will be publicized in a press conference on April 10 at 15.00 in Hermes Hotel, Banda Aceh.

For further information please contact:
Elly Sufriadi/ Executive Director e-CARD (+62 812 6879028)

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