Indonesians Wrestle with Voting Choices, Giant Ballots

JAKARTA When Indonesians vote in presidential and legislative elections next week, they’ll be wrestling with choices affecting their country’s future, and ballots as big as posters.

The super-sized documents, some too big to fit unfolded inside the voting booths, are causing complaints as well as worries that elderly voters will struggle with them.

The ballot for the Senate covered more than half the body of a woman who held it up at a polling simulation exercise held by the election commission on Wednesday.

“This certainly makes it difficult for people to vote,” said Jakarta resident Siti Nuria.

“Why can’t this vote be made simpler? It will be very troublesome for the elderly to vote and in folding them back up,” she said.

Despite the big size, others complained the writing was still too small.

“We hope that in the future it can be simpler, with paper sizes that are not too large and names that are printed with larger font sizes,” said Susanti Sidiq.

Indonesia, the world’s third-biggest democracy after India and the U.S. and a stronghold of democracy in a neighborhood of authoritarian nations, holds elections for president, Senate, and national, provincial and district legislatures on April 17. About 190 million people are eligible to vote.

Polls say President Joko Widodo has a big lead over his challenger, former special forces Gen. Prabowo Subianto, though many voters remain undecided.

Source: Voice of America