Bandarlampung, Lampung (ANTARA) - The sun was blazing hot that afternoon. However, it did not deter the three women members of the Bandarlampung General Elections Commission (KPU) from going door-to-door to verify citizens whose names had been listed as members of political parties.

As they went about their work that afternoon, the sun beat down harshly, and soon, gave way to rain. Nevertheless, the KPU members remained in good spirits.

With smiles on their faces, they went from one location to another until they located the address listed in the sampling data.

Finding the addresses of political party members for factual verification is no easy matter in Bandarlampung City, Lampung, which is spread over an area of 197.22 square kilometers and has a population of around 1.2 million.

The hilly terrain of Bandarlampung City presented another challenge to the KPU team in carrying out its task.

Based on data received by the KPU in Bandarlampung, the city has 2,897 political party members spread across 20 sub-districts and 126 villages.

As stipulated by the regulation, there are three methods of conducting factual verification: meeting in person or door-to-door, using information technology, or gathering members at each political party’s office.

Bandarlampung City’s KPU Commissioner Ika Kartika, who was one of the three women on the verification team, likened the process of conducting factual verification of political party members to looking for a needle in a haystack.

That comparison was not without reason. Sometimes, after the KPU team reached an address, they found that the person in question no longer lived there or was out for work.

Moreover, the search for the political party members’ addresses became more difficult when the political party liaison officer did not accompany them. However, the obligations and duties of an electoral organizer still had to be carried out.

Another challenge that needed to be overcome was reaching political party members whose homes were located in difficult-to-reach areas, such as hilly areas, or narrow alleys that could only be traversed by two-wheeled vehicles or on foot.

In addition to the topographical challenges, the Bandarlampung KPU team also had to provide an understanding and give explanations to residents whose names had been listed as political party members.

"It is difficult, and it takes time because they feel like they have never joined a political party. Sometimes, someone gets angry and questions, 'How come?' (So,) they ask the KPU officers. This takes time to give them an understanding," Kartika explained.

According to Bandarlampung City KPU Chairperson Dedi Triyadi, during the factual verification process, the KPU faced a little difficulty in finding the addresses listed in the sampling data because some people did not provide their full address, such as the alley, the RT (neighborhood unit), or RW (community unit) numbers.

Then, limited human resources posed another obstacle to field verification. To tackle this, KPU Bandarlampung even deployed state apparatus (ASN) serving as secretariat staff to carry out verifications.

According to Triyadi, five of ten of the addresses were difficult to find, while the remaining 50 percent of people listed were actually not members of political parties, though some were really members.

Despite the many challenges faced in implementing the verification, the 20 verifiers in charge of checking the political party membership sample worked optimally, with the factual verification of Bandarlampung political party membership reaching 75 percent. The process was still ongoing as of November 4, 2022.

Chairperson of the General Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) in Bandarlampung, Candrawansah, said that it was difficult to find the party members at home.

The completed field factual verification will be continued by gathering the members of political parties that the teams met with during the door-to-door verification from November 2–4.

Bawaslu reminded that political party members who could not be found during factual verification must be asked to gather at the Bandarlampung city-level political party offices, not other locations.

Factual verification using video calls may be used if a member is unable to attend the gathering, but only for valid and urgent reasons, for example, their being sick or out of town.

Currently, the factual verification involving gathering members at city-level political party offices is still on.

As of November 4, as many as 282 members of the Garuda (Change Indonesia Movement) Party, 284 Labour Party members, 297 Perindo or the Indonesian Unity Party members, 283 Gelora (Indonesian People's Wave Party) members, 284 Hanura or the People's Conscience Party members, 280 PSI (Indonesian Solidarity Party) members, 293 PBB (Crescent and Star Party) members, 327 Ummat (the Ummah Party) members, and 286 PKN members have been verified by the Bandarlampung KPU.

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Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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