An Indonesian legislative election ballot. Voters will select candidates by sticking a nail into their names. (Antara Photo/Nova Wahyudi).

Your Last Minute Guide to Election Day

APRIL 16, 2019

Election day is tomorrow. All eligible voters—Indonesian citizens 17 years old or older, or younger but already married, physically and mentally healthy, and not a member of the police force or the military—should already have their names listed on the permanent voters list (DPT) and received their invitation to vote, better known as the "C6" form, by now. 

If you are one among 192.8 million voters to decide the fate of this country, we have prepared a short guide below to ensure a smooth experience at the polling booth for you. 

If my name is not on the DPT, can I still vote?

Yes, with strict conditions.

Voters who are not listed on the DPT will be registered on the Special Voters List (DPK) and can cast their ballots by showing their e-KTP identification card to officials at the polling station.

However, if you are one of these DPK voters, you can only cast your ballot at the polling station nearest to the address listed on your e-KTP. DPK voters will be allowed into the polling booth in the last hour of the election, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Can I vote anywhere I want by showing my e-KTP?

No. You can only vote near the place of residence printed on your ID card.

Where is my polling station (TPS)?

The General Elections Commission (KPU) assigns a TPS identified by a three-digit number for each voter. You can look up which one is yours in the permanent voters list website. Your polling station should be within walking distance of your home. Ask the satpam (security guard), landlord or Pak RT (neighborhood watch chief). They'd know. 

When is the best time to go to the polling station?

As early as possible. The stations will be open from 7 a.m to 1 p.m. The KPU designed every station to have five ballot boxes to handle a maximum of 300 voters.

According to KPU simulations, each voter will need five to eight minutes to cast all five ballots, so there's barely enough time for everyone to cast their votes.

Should I be wary of getting harassed or intimidated at the polling station?

Tension between Jokowi and Prabowo supporters may get heated at the polling station. But harassment and intimidation will not be tolerated. Report it immediately to the police officer on duty if you become a target. A police officer or an Army soldier will be stationed near your polling station, with strict instructions to quell any conflict.

Sejumlah personel kepolisian melakukan Apel Pergeseran Keamanan Pemilu 2019 di halaman Mapolda Sumsel, Palembang, Sumsel, Minggu (14/4/2019). Untuk menjaga keamanan proses Pemilu serentak 2019, Polda Sumsel menyiagakan 11 ribu personel untuk menjaga 25.326 Tempat Pemungutan Suara (TPS) di seluruh kabupaten dan kota di Sumsel. ANTARA FOTO/Feny Selly/wsj.
Police officers, who cannot vote, will be deployed at polling stations on the election day. (Antara Photo/Feny Selly)

I arrive at my polling station before closing time, but I'm still in the queue for the ballot box after 1 p.m. Should I just go home?

Big no. As long as you are already in the voters list and get to the polling station by 1 p.m., you can still vote. 

Who am I voting for?

You will cast a vote each in five ballots—except if you are a Jakarta resident, you will get only four ballots. These ballots are for: 

  • The President. You really should know who the candidates are by now.  
  • Regional Legislative Council (DPD). These are legislative representatives whose job is to make sure that laws drawn by the government or the DPR do not disadvantage regional interests.   
  • The House of Representatives (DPR). These lawmakers' job is, yes, to make laws. Don't put your nail (yes, you vote by sticking a nail into a picture of the candidate, hence the term for casting a vote, "nyoblos" ("stick it in") anywhere near candidates who like to skip or sleep in meetings (Google their names), or have a previous conviction for corruption.   
  • Provincial Representative Council (DPRD I) and the Regional Representative Council (DPRD II). These legislative representatives help and supervise your governors, district heads or mayors. Jakarta only has DPRD representatives at the provincial level.

I've been given my ballots. What do I do now?

Check it thoroughly for any signs of tampering (holes, rips, tears) in front of the officials at the polling station. Ask for a new ballot if your original one has been tampered with. You will not be able to ask for a new one once you are already in the ballot box.

I’m inside the ballot box now. How do I cast my vote?

You cast your vote by poking a small hole using a nail (provided) into your paper ballot. For presidential and DPD candidates you can stick the nail into their electoral call number or a picture of their face.

To vote for your preferred legislative candidates, you stick the nail into their individual names or the logo or name of their political parties. If you decide to vote just for the party, your vote will go to the party's candidate who wins the most votes in the district.

If you have a specific candidate you want to vote for, you have to select his or her name.

Warga melihat contoh surat suara saat mengikuti simulasi pemungutan suara pemilu 2019 di TPS kawasan Panyileukan, Bandung, Jawa Barat, Senin (8/4/2019). Kegiatan tersebut dilakukan untuk memberikan sosialisasi kepada warga sehingga tidak mengalami kesulitan saat mem
Be careful! You only have one chance to stick a nail into your preferred candidates on the ballot paper. (Antara Photo/Novrian Arby)

If I messed up my ballot, can I get another one?

Unlikely. You should be extra careful when casting your votes.

Any holes poked outside a candidate's box will invalidate your vote. Two holes or more on candidates from different parties will also invalidate your vote.

Officials may refuse to give you another ballot if you mess up the one you were given originally. There is only a very limited number of spare ballots—on average two percent of the total number of voters listed in each station, or six ballots at most—to accommodate for extra voters.  

I am offered money by a candidate to vote for him/her. What should I do?

It's not a crime to accept the money. But under the Election Law, the candidate is a criminal. It's almost certain that he/she will corrupt your tax money when they sit in office. Do not vote for them!

Can I stay at the polling station to watch the vote counting?

Yes. It's even encouraged. 

Non-partisan election watchdog Kawal Pemilu has set up a website, kawalpemilu.org, for volunteers to upload completed copies of C1 forms, which contain vote tallies at polling stations.

Why should I stay at the polling station to watch the votes being counted?

Previous elections have taught us that vote tampering usually starts at individual polling station. The more eyes watching the vote-counting process, the less likely that tampering would happen.

When can I find out the results?

Early, unofficial exit polls should be available by as early as 3 p.m. Western Indonesia Time. Pollsters like Indobarometer and Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting will conduct exit polls since the morning at randomly selected stations across Indonesia, asking how voters cast their ballots.  

More accurate results from quick counts—based on real votes, i.e., completed C1 forms from randomly selected polling stations—will be out a few hours after that. These will still be unofficial results.

Sometime in the afternoon, pollsters should be able to call the result of the presidential election if quick count numbers show a candidate winning a simple majority (more than 50 percent) with a percentage margin well beyond the quick counts' margin of error.

By then you can feel confident enough to perform a sujud syukur (prayer of thanks) for your winning candidate or whatever you do to vent off your frustration if your candidate lost.

If the leading presidential candidate's winning margin is still within the margin of error reported by the quick counts, you should wait for the official results from the KPU.

KPU will not announce official election results until all votes are counted, manually, at all polling stations around the country. This can take days to complete.

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