July, 18 2014
Democracy Maturity Test: Guarding the Election

A crowd-sourced vote counting initiative helps anticipate electoral abuses and instills confidence in Indonesian election.

by Magdalene
Issues
Share:


Indonesia’s third direct presidential election this year has certainly been colorful. As Indonesia is facing its tightest and most divisive election, the dual victory claim over a razor-thin win based on quick counts adds more drama. Both Prabowo Subianto and Joko Widodo called on their supporters to guard the real counting in their efforts to fight electoral abuses.
 
Comes kawalpemilu.org, a website run by volunteer monitoring group that follows the official tallies via scanned form from Indonesia’s Election Commission, known as KPU. The group founded by former Mathematical Olympiad champion Ainun Najib with the help of 700 volunteers from both presidential candidates’ supporters is a stellar example of civil society participation in monitoring vote recapitulation. They will need more volunteers for verification purposes soon.
 
Preventing election fraud does not only assure accurate voting results, but it also instills confidence among voters in the election process. As of July 17, the website says of the 95.69 percent votes counted, the Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla ticket has secured over 52 percent, compared to their rivaling pair Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa at 47 percent. The website is not regarded as an official tally, and the KPU will announce its final results on July 22.
 
The biggest threat to the election is when the defeated candidate does not concede. Challenge can be filed to the Constitutional Court next month, and the ruling should be out by August 24. If anything, this will be a major maturity test to Indonesia’s young democracy.