The Atlantic

The World’s Most Complicated Single-Day Election Is a Feat of Democracy

Indonesia’s ability to hold free and fair polls illustrates many of the oft-hidden processes that, beyond the simple act of casting ballots, underpin democratic societies.
Source: Willy Kurniawan / Reuters

The shabby headquarters of Indonesia’s general-election commission in central Jakarta is an unlikely bastion of democracy. But it is from here that the KPU, as it is known, will soon execute the world’s most complicated single-day election.

The logistical challenges are breathtaking. Six million election workers have been recruited and trained to oversee more than spread across hundreds of islands. The polling staff will travel by airplane, boat, and foot, from isolated mountain villages to tiny islets. Their mission is to ensure that Indonesia’s 193 million voters can freely and fairly select a president, parliamentarians, and local

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