Election Watch: Voters Take to the Polls in Indonesia

In 2010, an estimated 70 million Indonesians voted in more than 250 local elections being held across the archipelago. For only the second time in the nation’s democratic history, citizens voted on a rolling basis for district-level executives. The importance of local elections is directly linked to decentralized governance, with local governments now having increased responsibility for service provision and increased accountability to voters.

While Indonesia has emerged as a strong and vibrant democracy, problems with election administration, as well as sustained allegations of vote-buying, have marred the democratic process in some areas. Working with a network of mass-based civil society and faith-based organizations called the People’s Voter Education Network (JPPR), The Asia Foundation (with funding support from AusAID) was on-site to observe this year’s local elections in 10 districts across the country. Watch this slideshow for a glimpse into one recent election day in Bandung district of West Java, beginning at 7 a.m. when polls open.

Related locations: Indonesia
Related programs: Elections