Dying for Democracy in Indonesia #MartirDemokrasi

dafluff

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Lost in the news of election results, and the antics of a spoiled sore loser, is the sacrifice of many ordinary Indonesians to ensure fair elections. Some even giving their lives.

No less than 20 poll workers have passed away in various election related mishaps. Some just out of pure exhaustion. This twitter thread is recognizing them, along with the hashtag #MartirDemokrasi


The work of a poll worker is a grueling, stressful and thankless. One such worker wrote that they had to be ready at 5 am on election day at the poll station. When the ballots, boxes and logistics arrive, they then prepare the stations. Then they oversee the voting until 1 pm. The votes have to be counted immediately, starting 1:30 pm.

Each station is limited to about 200 votes, but remember there are 5 ballots in one (President, DPR, DPD, DPRD I, DPRD II - except for Jakarta which doesn't have DPRD II). The ballots have to be individually scrutinized, to see where the hole punch is, to see whether there are any additional holes that may invalidate it, etc. The ballots for the DPR/Ds are a bigger nightmare, since there are up to 200 names per ballot. This is because there are 20 parties, each allowed to field up to 10 candidates per electoral district.


surats.jpg

Sample DPR Ballot

Counting the ballots last well into the night, possibly into early morning the next day. With very little breaks, and no sleeping. Then there is recapitulation, writing report, signatures, and taking the boxes to the village office (kelurahan), where it is then guarded under lock and key. Most TPS take until morning to finish this.

One worker wrote, "I couldn't go home to check on my kids, or shower, even though my station was near my house".

So the poor workers usually finish around 5 to 8am, working around 24 hours non-stop. It is then not surprising that they then get into accidents, or just collapse in exhaustion after.
 

snpark

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What an incredibly shitty thing to say.
Not really, they volunteered to do some admin work, probably got some sort of payment, then complain about it later. It is one day every 4 years to do something for your country voluntarily, it wasn't like they were forced into it or digging in a mine 20 hours a day 7 days a week, or back breaking manual labour.
They sat there drinking tea, shuffling papers.

The deaths came from accidents later. No one has actually died from a paper cut or a bomb in a polling booth?

I know of lot of people who work hard and don't complain and a lot of girls who moan that both their maids are away for the weekend and have to wash their own dishes.

Martyr is the correct term. Oh look at me, look how hard I worked doing something I volunteered for.
Yes we thank you for your service sir. Now what about the people in orange who clean the shi77y drains every day or the fire service or countless others who do a real job and don't get mentioned in the Jakarta post?

Don't get me wrong, we all appreciate their honesty and it is a stressful and pressure job and we should thank them but it is not the most dangerous or exhausting job in the world.
 

El_Goretto

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Now what about the people in orange who clean the shi77y drains every day or the fire service or countless others who do a real job and don't get mentioned in the Jakarta post?
They do get mentioned regularly.
 

snpark

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They do get mentioned regularly.
Duly noted yes and I have seen a few puff pieces about what a great job they do, but not so many about how exhausted they are because they didn't get a shower one day or didn't see their kids for 24 hours
 

dafluff

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Not really, they volunteered to do some admin work, probably got some sort of payment, then complain about it later. It is one day every 4 years to do something for your country voluntarily, it wasn't like they were forced into it or digging in a mine 20 hours a day 7 days a week, or back breaking manual labour.
They sat there drinking tea, shuffling papers.

The deaths came from accidents later. No one has actually died from a paper cut or a bomb in a polling booth?

I know of lot of people who work hard and don't complain and a lot of girls who moan that both their maids are away for the weekend and have to wash their own dishes.

Martyr is the correct term. Oh look at me, look how hard I worked doing something I volunteered for.
Yes we thank you for your service sir. Now what about the people in orange who clean the shi77y drains every day or the fire service or countless others who do a real job and don't get mentioned in the Jakarta post?

Don't get me wrong, we all appreciate their honesty and it is a stressful and pressure job and we should thank them but it is not the most dangerous or exhausting job in the world.
First of all it's every 5 years, not 4.

Secondly, the point is that those deaths are wholly unnecessary. It's stupid to require several million people to go without sleep for 24 hours, give them relatively stressful task (there is pressure to have everything ready on time, to have accurate counts, arguing over ballots etc), then releasing them into traffic at the end of it.

Finally, the story is about people dying doing their job, and your comment is a callous "God forbid they have to do a proper days hard work more than once every 4 years ". God forbid you show some decency.
 

R Cameron

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It says each TPS is limited to about 200 voters, I've seen that there were 190,000,000 eligible voters, and based on my very limited observation I think each TPS has about 5 people working.

If that's the case, there were almost 5 million people working the TPS on that day. 20 deaths out of 5 million people, that seems like maybe just a normal day, no?

By my crude math, a random sample of 5,000,000 Indonesians would average 89 deaths per day (6.5 deaths per 1000 people per year, so 6.5*5000/365)
 

snpark

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It says each TPS is limited to about 200 voters, I've seen that there were 190,000,000 eligible voters, and based on my very limited observation I think each TPS has about 5 people working.

If that's the case, there were almost 5 million people working the TPS on that day. 20 deaths out of 5 million people, that seems like maybe just a normal day, no?

By my crude math, a random sample of 5,000,000 Indonesians would average 89 deaths per day (6.5 deaths per 1000 people per year, so 6.5*5000/365)
I agree, not sure how it can take so many hours to count some votes, you seriously telling me none of them nodded off for 20 mins or say at 9pm?

If they start counting votes at 1.30, come on, seriously you telling me that they non stop counted and recounted tens of thousands of votes alone? No. Each station only has a few hundred or thousand or so voters registered, you seem to be exagerrating the work involved, each person has their role, every one counts and rechecks but the polling station near me just seemed to be people sitting around chatting most of the day and a couple of people playing with a pen.

Anyway the point was no one actually died from working in the station, perhaps next time they should prepare better and sleep longer before. Like I said, all they had to do was count some pieces of paper accurately and some one else double checked their work anyway
 

dafluff

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VOA reports that more than 300 election workers died.

 

jstar

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Well, it's all statistics isn't it?

If you see that 300 people died and 1,878 other staff had fallen ill, over an amount of 7 million people. (Some sources say 5 million.) And that was over a period of 11 days?

In a country as Serbia, with a similar total population, approx. 270 people die daily. Don't even mention a country like Laos, also with 7 million inhabitants.

Okay, it is not very probable that very sick people would participate in the counting process. But still, if I see the rather high average age in the voting stations, it is rather easy to interpret these numbers any way...

NB: And then they give one example of a 64 year old, who goes without sleep for over 24 hours and who refuses to eat. (OMG, I sound like Fred!)
 
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sumyunggai

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I agree, it is idiotic to report 300 people died without knowing what the normal rate of death is among such a number of Indonesians of their age.

Very simply if you say 1 in 1000 risk of death per year per person (and I bet it is higher), then out if 7 million people in 11 days you expect 200 deaths or so.

There is nothing from the deaths figure alone to suggest any problem
 

snpark

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This was sort of what I was trying to say at the start, without any actual proof of determined cause of death directly related, it is just coincidence.
People die every day, from old age, sickness, malnutrition, stress, cardiac etc so very hard to say 300 deaths were the direct result of counting votes
 

dafluff

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Agreed that a more in-depth statistically needs to be looked at.

However, the population of election workers is not a random population sample. Presumably no one was infirm, chronically ill, a newborn, a woman giving birth, etc. In other words, the population of election workers are as a group in better shape than a random population sample.
 

jstar

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Anyhow, some rumors have started which talk about a possible poisoning. 🙄 And Fahri Hamzah, vice speaker of the DPR (luckily not for long) reacted on this conspiracy theory by stating there should be a committee looking into this. 😲 And from the Prabowo camp a spokesperson thought it would be a good idea to excavate the bodies. (Which in RI is almost never approved by the family btw.)
 

Helpful Herbert

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They could have slipped and hit their head on the polling box? Or slept out at night to protect the box and got bitten by a mosquito and got malaria? Or accidentally punched a hole in their finger with the punching pencil thing which went septic? I mean there must be some interesting stories there, people don't just die because they couldn't sleep for a day, or due to excessive counting giving them an aneurysm. If that kills you, you must be in a pretty fragile state to begin with.
 

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