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INDONESIA POLLS: One-stop portal helps first-time Indonesian voters decide

Publication Date : 07-04-2014

 

Adela Pranindiati, a 24-year-old employee of a private firm, plans to exercise her voting rights on the April 9 legislative election.

However, she is yet to make up her mind on who she will vote for, as she has not studied the track records of the legislative candidates.

“There is too much fragmented information, which discourages me [from learning about the legislative candidates],” the first-time voter told The Jakarta Post over the weekend.

With many voters, especially the young ones, still not having a clue about who they will vote for on election day, an Internet portal called Kepoin Caleg has been established recently to help them make up their minds.

The website was set up by a youth organisation for elections Ayo Vote.

Ayo Vote initiator Pingkan Irwin said during the launch of the portal on Saturday that Kepoin Caleg was a one-stop portal where people could access information on the legislative candidates.

Although the portal is not the first of its kind, Ayo Vote has worked hard to ensure that it can easily be accessed by anyone.

“The portal is friendly to mobile users. That’s what makes it more convenient for young voters [to access information on legislative candidates],” Pingkan said on the sidelines of the launch in South Jakarta.

Internet users can access the portal through ayovote.com/kepoin-caleg/, where they can search for legislative candidates based on location, parties and issues.

“We make the menu as simple as possible,” Pingkan said.

She said that Ayo Vote felt the need to set up the portal given the lack of accessible information on the Internet.

“For example, the CVs of legislative candidates uploaded to the General Elections Commission [KPU] website do not help at all because the information [provided in the CVs] is very basic,” Pingkan said. “They do not provide in-depth information.”

According to her, the portal has some of the candidates’ track records as well as news articles on their platform as well as their views on some of the problems plaguing the country from migrant workers to freedom of religion.

Pingkan said Ayo Vote encountered problems in completing the database for the portal due to the lack of information on most of the legislative candidates.

She said  many of the candidates did not present concrete platforms in their campaigns.

“And not all of them were covered by the media. Also, many of them do not even have websites or a social media presence,” Pingkan said.

Titi Anggraini of the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem) lauded the portal, saying that it indicated that the country’s youths are actually interested in politics.

“This year’s election is different from the one in 2009, because back then there was no movement like this. It means that the virus of democracy has spread to youngsters,” she said.

According to data from the Central Statistic Agency (BPS), youths who are eligible to vote in the 2014 election amount to 55 million, or 30 per cent from the final voter list (DPT) of 185 million.

 

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