All the 7,256 voters, recorded in the DP4 document, remain in Malaysia
Nunukan, N Kalimantan (ANTARA) - The General Elections Commission (KPU) found that 7,256 Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia were registered as eligible voters for this year's simultaneous regional elections in Nunukan District, North Kalimantan Province.

The finding was confirmed by Mardi Gunawan, the commissioner of the KPU-Nunukan Office for Voter Registration Division, here, Thursday, as a result of the latest updates of voter registration data for 553 polling stations in Nunukan District.

These 7,256 Indonesian migrant workers were registered as voters based on a potential voter list, or DP4 document, submitted by the Home Ministry to the elections commission.

They would cast their votes in 17 ballot booths, set up in the Agency for the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BP2MI)-Nunukan Office area, he noted.

However, the local KPU officials, who conducted the latest updates of the registered voter list, found that none of the migrant workers resided at the address of the BP2MI Office as stipulated in the DP4 document, he remarked.

Hence, the KPU-Nunukan Office decided to delete the 17 ballot booths from the list of 553 polling stations that had earlier been reported to the KPU-Jakarta Office.

"All the 7,256 voters, recorded in the DP4 document, remain in Malaysia," he stated, adding that passports could not be used for casting votes at polling stations for the regional elections, scheduled be held simultaneously on Dec 9, 2020.

Owing to the fact that this year's regional elections are held amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has urged related ministries and the KPU to impose stringent health protocols to attain maximum participation rate.

"Most importantly, we must be able to convince voters that the KPU and government are highly concerned about public health and safety," he stated at a virtual meeting held to discuss preparations for the 2020 regional elections at the Merdeka Palace on Aug 5.

In the midst of this novel coronavirus disease outbreak, several countries, including Germany, Singapore, South Korea, and France, had convened their regional and national elections, Jokowi noted.

The strict imposition of health protocols to break the chain of COVID-19 infection was deemed crucial to convince eligible voters to cast their votes in ballot booths. Thus, this festival of democracy could run peacefully and fairly, he emphasized.

"The strict enforcement of health protocols will also reflect sound management and offer a sense of safety and security to voters that would also have a positive impact on the participation rates," he noted.

President Jokowi also stressed on the importance of enforcing health protocols across all stages of this year's simultaneous regional elections to ensure that this democratic process runs in a fair and peaceful manner and does not lead to the creation of new COVID-19 clusters.

"Of course, this is a new momentum to demonstrate a new approach to hold simultaneous regional elections and an innovative way for both organizers and participants to practice democracy amid this COVID-19 pandemic situation," he affirmed.

Some 270 regions in Indonesia, comprising nine provinces, 224 districts, and 37 cities, will hold regional elections on Dec 9, 2020.
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Translator: Rusman, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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