This year’s election in Indonesia has charted a lot of firsts for the world’s third-largest democracy. It was the first race between just two candidates, the first to end with quick counts from pollsters showing different winners and the first to use crowdsourcing to involve volunteers with the vote tabulation. The candidates, Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, are both waiting for official results to be released by the Indonesian Elections Commission early next week and current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called for their supporters to hold off celebrating. In the meantime, several neutral groups have set up websites asking for volunteers to keep track of the vote count by submitting scanned copies of their voting papers. They’re also asking people to post evidence of irregularities on Twitter. Meanwhile, the General Elections Commission (KPU), which is charged with counting and confirming the votes, has started uploading PDF forms from each polling station to its website. Known as C1, these forms document the number of votes cast at each polling station and show how many went to each candidate.
A screen grab of C1 form from the General Elections Commission website. Courtesy of General Elections Commission
Analysts have complimented the KPU’s decision to post the C1 forms, calling it a sign of improved transparency. The websites and use of social media, while certainly not a catch-all solution, are, however, setting a precedent that is likely to be used in future elections. Here’s a look at some.
C1 Yang Aneh, which translates to Strange C1 Forms, started from a conversation about irregularities with the forms going around on Twitter. Herman Saksono, a PhD student on break from studying in the U.S., created the Tumblr page as a way for people to participate in exposing any irregularities they were finding.
The page has received more than 700 submissions since July 11, two days after the election. Mr. Saksono said his small team of six volunteers goes through each of the scanned forms and checks them against data from the same polling station that has been uploaded to the general election commission’s website.