Youth Participation

In 2014, there is a huge number of young first-time voters as more than 100 million are under 30 years old, of which almost 55 million or 29% fall in the 17 to 29 year old age range. Due to complicated election process and confusing eligibility rules such as while the minimum voting age is 17, anyone who is married and has an identity card can vote. Therefore, in the April 9 2014 legislative elections, many young people did not have enough voter education and did know the district in which they could vote. There was no media in Indonesia that covers the election specifically for the young voters. From a media survey, young voters did admit that they needed more information which would help them through a long list of legislative candidates (almost 235,000 candidates competed for more than 19,000 seats).

Before the polling day, young people were predicted to be less inclined to vote because they take democracy for granted. Therefore, online voter education and electoral information emerged to provide alternative channel for information for young voters. Data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) shows that Indonesia has 11.7% first time voters in 2014 Elections. Therefore the abundance of young people has also explained why Indonesia has become one of the most active nations on social networking websites, and this inspires parties and politicians to field their election campaigns on online media.



Idrees Ali, For Indonesian Election, Low Youth Turnout Predicted, VOA, July 08, 2014,                                                                                                                                                                                          

Nurfika Osman, Hans David Tampubolon and Hans Nicolas Jong, Youth vote a game changer in general election, The Jakarta Post, February 24, 2014,

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