Monday, April 6, 2009

Getting Out the Vote, from Sulawesi to Jakarta

National elections pose logistical challenges in any country, but planning for safe and fair elections is hardest in large, developing democracies, like that of Indonesia. This Thursday, more than 170 million Indonesians will be eligible to vote for their representatives in the national parliament, as well as on a number of regional assemblies. And voter turnout looks to be more diverse than ever before, thanks to UNDP's voter education program in Indonesia.

UNDP has been working with local Indonesian organizations to reach often-marginalized voters, like the disabled, the elderly, sex workers, and first-time voters. The local organizations have been teaching voter education classes and going door-to-door to let Indonesian citizens know where, when, and how to vote. Groups have also organized puppet shows, cultural dances, a youth festival, TV and radio commercials, public dialogues, and debates to help spread the word. These voter education initiatives are part of UNDP's three-year, $15 million electoral support program in Indonesia.

Watch the video below to see clips of voter education classes in action, and to hear Indonesians talk about how UNDP's programs have helped them. Click here to see another video, and here for more information on the projects.