UGM to undertake study of polling station workers' deaths

UGM to undertake study of polling station workers' deaths

Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - Gadjah Mada University (UGM) has been preparing a comprehensive study on the reasons for the deaths of several hundred members of polling station working committees across Indonesia, a researcher of the public university revealed here on Thursday.

This interdisciplinary research project would comprehensively reveal the factors that led to the deaths and sickness of the polling station working committee members, said Abdul Ghaffar, coordinator of the UGM's Working Research Group on General Elections.

The research project involving scientists from Medical School, as well as Faculties of Public Health, Psychology, and Social and Political Sciences, would be conducted for several weeks, he said.  

In connection with this interdisciplinary research project, Dean of UGM's Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Erwan Agus Purwanto said his university's team members would collaborate with their colleagues from 10 other universities.

Among the public universities that would also be involved in this research project are the University of Indonesia, Lampung University, Airlangga University, and Cendrawasih University, he said.

As of May 7, 2019, the General Elections Commission (KPU) said the death toll of the working committee members at polling stations had reached at least 456, while 4,310 others fell ill while fulfilling their electoral duties.

According to the KPU, they lost their lives due to exhaustion or after meeting with traffic accidents amid their hectic work schedules. These people were in charge of different ballot booths across Indonesia.

One of the members who lost their lives was Muriah, a resident of Peulokan Village in Labuhan Haji Barat Subdistrict, South Aceh District, Aceh Province, who reportedly died of exhaustion due to the strain of overwork. The death of expectant mother Muridah had also brought grief to her husband, family, and neighbors.

Vice Presidential candidate number 02 Sandiaga Uno expressed his deep concern over the deaths of so many working committee members at polling stations in different parts of Indonesia, amid the peaceful convening of the recent general elections.