Not all heroes wear capes, some use their phones to keep the ballot counting in check.Adelia Anjani Putri 10 January 2017 16:52
As much as the internet could influence political participation and become a space where freedom of speech thrives, the platform has also grown into a place for trolls, the spreading of news, and, sometimes, election-related hacking. An initiative called Kawal Pilkada, however, is hoping to put technology into good use in upcoming regional elections around Indonesia.
Following the footsteps of Kawal Pemilu, a platform created by Ainun Najib during the 2014 General Election to facilitate the general public in keeping an eye on each stage of the ballot counting process, Kawal Pilkada aims to do the same on a regional level.
Who exactly are these people? The answer is hundreds of concerned volunteers spread throughout the archipelago.
The initiative started in 2015 with several regional elections such as those in Jambi, Riau, and North Sulawesi, and now the year 2017 poses a bigger challenge. With more than 100 upcoming elections, Kawal Pilkada has set ambitious targets to achieve this year.
“We want to cover all elections this year, but it all depends on the availability of C1 Form provided by Regional Election Commissions in all regions,” says Khairul Ansar, one of Kawal Pilkada’s co-founder.
The C1 Form is a certificate used to document results from the ballot counting in each polling station before the report is sent to the city or regional level.
Kawal Pilkada is also hoping to provide the quickest quick count for Jakarta election on Feb. 15, a goal Khairul is optimistic about.
“Through the mobile apps, the public can take a picture of the C1 or C4 forms in their local polling stations and upload them to the system,” he said. “Our website is ready to go, and so is our Android app. Our iOS app will be ready soon.”
Furthermore, the tech team is developing additional features such as candidates profiles, real count from each stations, and a geolocation feature to check where your local polling stations are.
“For now, we are relying on our existing unpaid volunteers,” Khairul said.
If you're interested in joining the movement, Kawal Pilkada is always open for more help. All you need to do is register at their website, kawalpilkada.id, and wait for further instructions.
So, set your calendar, charge your phone, go to the polling station, vote, and don't forget to wait around for the counting process. Not all heroes wear capes, some take pictures to keep the ballot counting in check.