Election Universe

High voter turnout noted in Indo polls

High voter turnout  noted in Indo polls
April 10 2014, 13:21

One of the biggest electoral exercises in the world took place in Indonesia on April 9 when 186 million registered voters headed to the polls to elect their representatives in the legislature.  The turnout represents 75% of the total registered voters in the vast and sprawling archipelago, a significant jump from the 70% recorded in 2009.

Many are expectant that the strong showing signals a resurgence of voter interest in a country where turnout had been in steady decline since 1999, after registering an all-time high of 93%.   The dwindling participation in polls have been attributed by political experts to various reasons, chief of which are the growing apathy and disillusionment of the voters.

This year’s polls, however, have been markedly different from the previous ones as it featured a charismatic candidate that had captured the fascination of the public. The excitement surrounding the campaign could have contributed to the apparent revival of interest in the electoral process.  Still other reasons have noted the aggressive efforts of the government to encourage voting. The information agency had taken to Youtube to dissuade people from abstaining and have enlisted the help of the youth groups to promote voting as cool.   Most interestingly, the agency had enticed voters to cast their ballots with discounts for coffee and deodorants.

More than 20,000 seats in the Representative Council were at stake in the legislative polls which are to have a profound impact on the complexion of the Presidential polls in July. Indonesian election laws require that a presidential ticket must be supported by a party or a coalition of parties winning at least 20% of vote in the legislative election.


Photo courtesy of Mashable