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Voter turnout in upcoming elections may drop nearly 50 percent due to COVID-19: LSI

Jakarta Post - September 6, 2020

Jakarta – Voter turnout in the upcoming regional elections may decrease 20 to 60 percent amid coronavirus concerns, the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) said.

LSI executive director Djayadi Hanan said many voters were likely to be hesitant to visit the polling stations in their respective communities on Dec. 9 due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

"Let's say around 20 to 46 percent of the public are hesitant or less likely to visit polling stations, this [indicates] a potential for reduced participation," Djayadi said during an online forum on Saturday as quoted by kompas.com.

He went on to say that LSI had reached such a conclusion following a recent survey on regional elections involving respondents in several parts of the country.

However, he did not disclose the research method or details regarding the survey respondents.

According to Djayadi, this year's estimation fell short of the 73.42 percent voter turnout in the 2018 regional elections.

Furthermore, the study also found that access to online campaigning was still limited to people who could afford a stable internet connection, leaving the less fortunate demographic with little to no information regarding the candidates.

Djayadi said he hoped that election organizers would impose strict health protocols at polling stations to prevent COVID-19 contagion among voters. "I'm concerned that voters may become COVID-19 superspreaders," he said. (rfa)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/09/06/voter-turnout-in-upcoming-elections-may-drop-nearly-50-percent-due-to-covid-19-lsi.html