"In essence, the KPPS receives better health checks compared to before, not only declared healthy based on an interview,"
Jakarta (ANTARA) - General Elections Commission (KPU) is encouraging comprehensive health checks for the Voting Organizing Team (KPPS) officers as a measure to prevent a repeat of the situation experienced in 2019.

According to the KPU, 894 officers from the KPPS died and 5,175 officers fell sick nationwide during the 2019 General Elections.

Meanwhile, the Jakarta KPU recorded that 31 KPPS officers in Jakarta died during the 2019 elections.

As per research carried out by the Ministry of Health, Gadjah Mada University (UGM), and the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), the top three comorbidities among KPPS officers in the 2019 elections were high blood pressure, heart attack, and diabetes.

Indonesia will hold the general elections on February 14, 2024, with the participation of around 204.8 million voters.

During the elections, Indonesians will elect a president and vice president as well as members of the House of Representatives (DPR), Regional Representatives Council (DPD), and Regional Legislative Councils (DPRD) at the province, city, and district levels.

In Jakarta, the local KPU is cooperating with the local health office to provide facilities to improve the health of KPPS officers who will be on duty during the upcoming elections.

"In essence, the KPPS receives better health checks compared to before, not only declared healthy based on an interview," Jakarta KPU chair Wahyu Dinata informed.

The Jakarta Health Office is readying health check facilities for around 210 thousand KPPS officers in Jakarta. The health checks include tests for blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

They also include screening for comorbidities and cardiovascular diseases.

Based on the results of the health checks, officers will be divided into three categories: healthy, healthy with notes, and not healthy, or those who need to undergo health checks again.

"If not healthy, they cannot become KPPS members. However, those who are healthy with notes that need attention will be monitored by the Health Office," he explained.

The health checks, which are free of charge, will need to be followed up comprehensively by the KPPS officers at community health centers (puskesmas) across Jakarta.

In addition, to anticipate exhaustion among KPPS officers, the Jakarta KPU has also asked the Jakarta Health Office to prepare two to three ambulances in every sub-district.

Before voting day, the Jakarta KPU, together with the Health Office, will also carry out mapping based on the results of the health checks to monitor the number of officers who are prone to illness.

The Jakarta KPU has also recommended the provision of supplements considering that KPPS officers will have a high workload during and after voting day.

New requirements for KPPS officer

Earlier, the KPU announced that it would recruit 5.7 million KPPS officers for the 2024 General Elections. Those officers will be deployed across 820,161 polling stations nationwide.

For KPPS abroad, the KPU will recruit 12,765 officers in 128 countries or regions.

Each KPPS team in each polling station will consist of seven officers. The teams are usually formed no later than 14 days before the elections and disbanded no later than 30 days after the elections.

Drawing from previous election experiences, the KPU has set an age limit for KPPS officers, allowing only those aged 17 to 55 to register their names for the post.

There are several other requirements for the officers: they need to be physically and mentally healthy; they need to be residing in the KPPS work area; they must not have been a member of a political party in the last five years; they must have graduated high school; and they must never have been convicted with imprisonment of 5 years or more.

In addition, those seeking to register as KPPS officers are required to submit a health certificate.

A citizen who served as a KPPS officer in the 2019 elections and registered again for the 2024 elections, Norma Nur Anisa, said that there were no difficulties during the registration process until the health check to obtain a health certificate.

She did not deny that the workload of KPPS officers is quite heavy. However, participating in the elections is deemed an opportunity to play a role in building democracy.

The tasks assigned to KPPS officers vary, such as setting up polling stations, counting ballot papers, receiving registrations, supervising voting booths, and carrying logistics from the polling station to the village office.

For Anisa, being a KPPS officer is an opportunity to boost people's participation in voting.

The presence of KPPS officers supports the smooth running of voting so that people can participate in selecting their next leaders.

For that reason, it is hoped that young people will get interested in becoming KPPS officers to prevent the situation seen in 2019 from recurring. Besides, young people also have sufficient competence, literacy, and understanding of technology, so they are expected to be able to work more efficiently and accurately.

KPPS officers have the responsibility to ensure the voting process runs smoothly in a just and transparent manner, in accordance with the law.

On account of the past experience in the 2019 elections, the central and regional governments are providing support to ensure the KPPS officers do not get exhausted during this year's elections.

KPPS officers who have passed the selection will be inducted on January 25. After the inauguration, their one-month service period, namely from January 25 to February 25, will start.

Given the efforts that are being made to ensure their fitness, it is hoped that the KPPS officers will be able to finish their duties meticulously while maintaining their health.

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Translator: Luthfia Miranda, Raka Adji
Editor: Arie Novarina
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