Lengthy electoral process led to voters being turned away: Kalla

Lengthy electoral process led to voters being turned away: Kalla

Vice President Jusuf Kalla spoke to journalists at the Indonesian Convention Exhibition (ICE) BSD City in South Tangerang on Monday (15/4/2019). (ANTARA/Fransiska Ninditya)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla said the complicated electoral process and increased enthusiasm among Indonesians living overseas to cast their votes might have been the reasons why many eligible voters in certain countries had to be turned away from polling booths.  

He was referring to the Indonesians who failed to exercise their votes, after they ran out of time as polling stations were reportedly shut at 05.00 pm local time. Among them were Indonesians residing in the Australian city of Sydney and China's city of Hong Kong.

Speaking to journalists after opening the 2019 Indonesian Industrial Summit being held in South Tangerang, Banten Province, on Monday, Kalla said many eligible voters failed to cast their votes at the polling stations that local Overseas Election Committee (PPLN) had set up because of the length of time needed by each voter to mark the ballot papers.

Every voter might need around 12 to 15 minutes to mark the ballot papers, and in addition to this, if the number of polling stations was inadequate, as was the case in Australia, many voters would have to be turned away, he said.

"This is the impact of our complicated electoral system and enthusiasm among people to participate in this year's parliamentary and presidential elections," he said, adding that he had noticed an increased rate of participation among voters living abroad compared to that of the 2014 General Elections.

The PPLN offers three methods of voting—going to ballot booths, mailing, or placing ballot papers in mobile voting boxes.

As revealed by the General Elections Commission (KPU), around 192 eligible voters are expected to exercise their voting rights for this year's parliamentary and presidential elections, due to be held simultaneously across Indonesia.

Those living abroad have been exercising their voting rights over the past few days. They are required to choose one of the two pairs of presidential and vice presidential candidates, and a legislative candidate of the House of Representatives.