Ballots Damaged, Court Ordered Revote, Recount at Two Polling Stations in Cirebon 2

The Petitioner’s legal counsel RD Susanti Komalasari attending a ruling hearing for the 2024 legislative election results dispute for West Java Province, Thursday (6/6/2024). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.

JAKARTA (MKRI) The Constitutional Court ordered the General Elections Commission (KPU) as the Respondent to recount the votes for the 2024 DPRD (Regional Legislative Council) election in the electoral district of Cirebon 2 at TPS (polling station) 14 in Panjunan Subdistrict and to conduct a revote at TPS 62 in Pegambiran Subdistrict, Lemahwungkuk Regency, Cirebon City. The KPU has 30 days to complete this. This ruling was handed down for a petition filed by the National Mandate Party (PAN).

“[The Court] orders the KPU to supervise and coordinate with the KPU of West Java Province and Cirebon City to implement this ruling,” stated Chief Justice Suhartoyo reading the verdict of Decision No. 74-01-12-12/PHPU.DPR-DPRD-XXII/2024 at a ruling hearing on Thursday, June 6, 2024.

Delivering the Court’s legal opinion, Constitutional Justice M. Guntur Hamzah explained that the determination of whether the Petitioner’s torn ballot was valid or invalid must be based on Chapter V Letter B point 1 letter (d) point (7) of KPU Regulation (PKPU) No. 66 of 2024 on technical guidelines for voting and vote counting in the general election.

“Based on the legal facts and the aforementioned provision, a valid ballot is declared damaged due to a tear at the fold caused by improper counting procedures. The actions of the polling station committee (KPPS) in invalidating the ballot despite the consensus cannot be justified,” said Justice Guntur.

Based on these matters, he continued, the Court found it appropriate and fair to order a recount at TPS 14 of Panjunan Village, Lemahwungkuk Subdistrict, Cirebon City. This is to ensure the purity of voters’ intentions and because the vote count in the a quo case between the Petitioner and Relevant Party I (Democratic Party) was the same. The Court emphasize the need for a clean election and accurate vote counts to protect the interests of voters and candidates. Election process, including vote counting must be conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations to ensure fair legal certainty.

“Based on the above legal considerations, the Petitioner’s argument regarding TPS 14 of Panjunan Village, where a valid ballot was declared invalid due to a tear at the fold, is legally justified,” stated Justice Guntur.

Unauthorized Consensus

The Petitioner also claimed that at TPS 62 of Pegambiran Village, three valid ballots for the Petitioner were declared invalid due to tears at the fold. Additionally, a registered voter named Ahmad Sulam from the special voter list (DPK) at TPS 62 of Pegambiran Village received only four ballots.

The Court found that the election officials’ treatment of Ahmad Sulam’s unused ballot as used and then as invalid ballot based on consensus with the witnesses was unjustifiable because it should have been recorded in a special incident form and a report should have been made.

“Not to mention, based on the legal facts discovered in the proceedings, at [said polling station] there was another issue of three ballots torn on the fold that had been declared invalid, which should not have been done since the ballots’ condition should have been examined following Chapter V Letter B point 1 letter (d) point (7) of PKPU No. 66 of 2024,” said Justice Guntur.

He added that these actions harmed the principles of democracy and the purity of voters’ intentions. Therefore, to ensure and guarantee the purity of the votes, and given that the vote count between the Petitioner and the Democratic Party was tied, according to the aforementioned legal consideration, the Court approved of a revote.

“The Court finds it appropriate and fair to conduct a revote at TPS 62 in Pegambiran Village, Lemahwungkuk Subdistrict, Cirebon City. Based on the aforementioned considerations, the argument of the a quo Petitioner was legally grounded,” he emphasized.

DPRD Election in Electoral District Garut 4

Furthermore, regarding the Petitioner’s claim of a 201-vote reduction observed through live streaming (exhibits P-19 and P-20, live streaming clips of vote counting of PAN’s votes in Cilawu Subdistrict, Garut 4 electoral district), the Court found these clips were not continuous and could not be viewed in full. Additionally, the Petitioner did not provide further proof during the proceedings, leaving the Court unconvinced of the alleged vote reduction. There were also no objections from any parties, including the Petitioner, to the recapitulation process at the subdistrict or regency levels.

Based on these considerations, Justice Guntur said, the Court concluded that the Petitioner’s claim of a 201-vote reduction was legally unfounded.

“Based on all the above legal considerations, the Court finds the Petitioner’s petition to be partially legally grounded,” he explained.

With the ruling for a recount at TPS 14 of Panjunan Village and a revote at TPS 62 of Pegambiran Village, the KPU (Respondent) was ordered to complete these tasks within 30 days from the ruling of the a quo case, involving voters listed in the permanent voter list (DPT), additional voter list (DPTb), and special voter list (DPK) used on February 14, 2024 on said polling stations. The results should be finalized without any report back to the Court.

Also read:

PAN Wishes Cirebon 2 Tally Canceled, Says KPU Purged Votes

No Objection to Ripped Ballot Papers, Court Asked to Reject PAN’s Petition

Witnesses & Experts Testify on Damaged Ballots in Cirebon

Previously, the Petitioner argued that a torn ballot at TPS 14 of Panjunan Village was wrongly invalidated.

The Petitioner also cited an issue where Ahmad Sulam, a special voter at TPS 62 of Pegambiran Village had received only four ballots. Despite consulting with the polling station supervisor, no objections were filed by the voter or witnesses at TPS 62 regarding the error.

Author              : Utami Argawati
Editor                : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR                    : Fauzan Febriyan
Translator         : Dzaki Difa Al Hadiid/Yuniar W.

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Thursday, June 06, 2024 | 11:37 WIB 38