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Prepare Sirekap Facing the 2024 General Election

Simulation of the use of the Sirekap Application in Bimtek Tungsura & Sirekap Batch IV held in Jakarta, Monday, November 16, 2020 (Photo: Doc KPU RI)

The Sirekap application (electronic recapitulation information system) downloaded by the Head of the Voting Group (KPPS) of Depok Jaya Village, Depok, Eko Widjadso does not operate properly. Uploaded a simulation document in the form of a photo of form C. The results of KWK were repeatedly failed to be stored in the 2020 simultaneous regional head election (Pilkada) digital vote recapitulation system. On his smartphone screen, a red message "failed to send an image" appears.

"Several times error in sending data. Maybe because the rain causes the data signal to be less stable, "said Eko to Jaring.id, Monday, November 23, 2020.  

In the records of the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), Eko's problems with using the Sirekap application did not only occur in Depok, West Java. Of the 157 districts / cities that conducted the trial on November 21, there were more than 30 thousand polling stations (TPS) that experienced internet network problems. Thousands of polling stations are spread across Jambi, Bali, East Java, West Java and South Sulawesi. Meanwhile, 4 thousand polling stations in Kalimantan have problems with the electricity network. Apart from external factors, according to Bawaslu Commissioner Muhammad Afifuddin, Sirekap's operating system is also still problematic.

"Uploading a document still takes about 30 minutes," said Afifuddin when contacted by Jaring.id on Tuesday, November 24, 2020.

This condition, according to him, was exacerbated by the low level of accuracy of the Sirekap reading system on the C form of KWK results. During the simulation, the number 0 reads 8 (Labuhan Batu Selatan Regency), the number 082 reads 200 (Lebong Regency), the number 151 reads 351 (Sibolga), the number 9 reads 8 (Tanjung Balai), the number 198 reads 139 (Regency Rokan Hilir), 252 reads 250 (Berau Regency).

"The discrepancies in the data that Sirekap reads are mostly due to the type of cellphone, the quality of the photo form, the light, and the point of view of the image," he said.

Therefore, Bawaslu asked the KPU to immediately anticipate system failures and ensure KPPS to work properly. Afifuddin did not want the application of digital recapitulation technology to be considered a burden. Because during the Corona virus pandemic, KPPS was not only required to take care of the selection process but also the health protocol at the TPS.

Before voting, officers will direct voters to wash their hands and check their temperature. If there are voters whose body temperature is above 37.5 degrees Celsius, the voters will be directed to vote in a special voting booth. In addition, KPPS officers are also burdened with providing services to Covid-19 patients who are conducting independent isolation.

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A total of 270 regions will hold simultaneous regional head elections in 2020. Of the 270 regions, nine of them will elect the governor. The General Election Commission (KPU) has determined 100,359,152 voters in the final voter list (DPT). The number is spread over 300 thousand polling stations (TPS).

Unlike the previous elections, the Pilkada event which was held in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic will include Sirekap as an aid for the publication of votes. Meanwhile, the manual copying and reporting system will still be used as a reference for determining the winner of the Pilkada.

This is in accordance with the agreement between the KPU and the House of Representatives (DPR) on 12 November. KPU commissioner, Evi Novida Ginting Manik, said that the digital system trial will be carried out nationally at 304 thousand polling stations spread across 270 regions. Evi hopes to get a complete picture to build a digital system for the next 2024 elections.

Referring to the Election Law Number 7 of 2017 and the Election Law Number 10 of 2016, the 2024 Election will take place with 7 elections in one day. Voters will determine who is the president and vice president to replace Joko Widodo-Maaruf Amin, then proceed with the election of governors and vice governors, elections for regents / mayors and deputy regents / deputy mayors, elections for the Regional Representative Council (DPD), Regional Representative Council (DPR), Provincial level DPRDs and closed with the election of members of the Regency / City DPRD.

Therefore, the KPU encourages the use of digital technology in the upcoming 2024 Election. Besides being able to speed up the recapitulation process, KPU Commissioner, Evi assured that the digital system can make the tragedy of the 2019 Election not repeated. At that time, as many as 894 election officials died, and 5,175 other officers were sick. Most of them experienced fatigue when filling out the 548 forms manually.  

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"We hope this can also help candidate pairs and campaign teams who have an interest in obtaining fast votes," said Evi to Jaring.id on Friday, November 20, 2020 ..

Currently, the KPU is focusing on improving the Sirekap operating system. Evi claims, the sign reading function (optical mark recognition) is valid. While the constraints in reading characters (optical character recognition) will be improved gradually through simulations in various regions. In the near future, the KPU will again conduct trials on Sirekap on November 28-29. The process will be closed with a simulation that will be held on December 5-7.

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"This mitigation assessment needs to be carried out, including the use of applications to find out what needs to be developed in order to prepare future information technology," he said. 

In the first stage of simulation, the KPU found that around 17 thousand polling stations were experiencing signal problems. Sumenep is one of the regions that takes a long time, not less than 24 hours to send the recapitulation results. Meanwhile in Banten, the process of uploading documents was completed within one hour. Therefore, according to Evi, the KPU will wait for areas that are constrained by internet networks for up to 24 hours after the recapitulation process is complete. If still not possible, then election officials can send documents offline via bluetooth device.

'' We continue to encourage and ensure that friends in the area use Sirekap. This must be used despite its status as a tool and trial, '' he said.

Meanwhile, Kediri KPUD member Anwar Ansori supports the application of digital technology in the 2020 Pilkada. Anwar believes that Sirekap can make the recapitulation process more effective and efficient. It's just that the KPU needs to immediately carry out a simulation up to the KPPS level. Previously, the first phase trial in Kediri was limited to the sub-district level.  

"This is what understands that it is still at the KPU level because access is still limited," he told Jaring.id on Friday, November 20, 2020.

The lack of socialization and preparation in each region is one of the reasons the DPR rejects the KPU's proposal. Another cause is internet network problems. According to the Chairman of Commission II of the DPR, Ahmad Doli Kurnia Tandjung, the Sirekap application developed by the KPU is currently not ready to be used as the basis for counting the votes for the 2020 Pilkada. However, he supports the use of Sirekap as a recapitulation tool on 9 December. That way, the KPU can identify the main problems in each region. 

"The KPU needs to ensure that election organizers at every level understand the use of Sirekap. That way calculation errors and recapitulation can be minimized, ”he said at the DPR meeting, Thursday, November 12, 2020.  

Researcher from the election monitoring agency, Network for Democracy and Electoral Integrity (Netgrit), Hadar Nafis Gumay agrees with the DPR's decision. He considered that the KPU's digital recapitulation system had not been tested. Moreover, until now there is no manual or video tutorial for using Sirekap.

"Because this is a new system, it is necessary to thoroughly test it before deciding to switch from manual to Sirekap in the upcoming elections," said Hadar in an interview Friday, November 21, 2020. 

The lack of socialization on the use and position of Sirekap in the 2020 Pilkada, according to this former KPU commissioner, has the potential to cause chaos (chaos). He said election officials, candidates and the public need to know that the Sirekap count is different from the manual count. He did not want the use of digital technology to cause new problems, such as the vote counting polemic in the 2019 Election. At that time, the data entered in the vote counting information system (Situng) was doubtful because it was not in accordance with the results of conventional vote recapitulation. (Deborah B. Sinambela)

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