JAKARTA, Indonesia – A day before the presidential campaign officially ended on Saturday, July 5, millions of Indonesians began casting their votes in 130 polling centers overseas.
Absentee voting began in the Middle East on Friday, July 4, and will end on Sunday. More than 2 million of the 6.5 million Indonesians overseas are expected to vote according to non-governmental organization Migrant Care – a turnout higher than in April’s legislative election.
This year’s direct presidential election between Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo and former general Prabowo Subianto is only Indonesia’s third, but has deeply divided the country, with latest surveys indicating the race is too close to call.
Indonesian netizens throughout the world have been actively sharing photos of their respective polling centers, with many noting that voters braved rains and waited in line for hours just to be able to vote.
Claims of early leads have already begun circulating from both camps, with supposed exit polls giving Jokowi 75% and Prabowo 20% of the votes among Indonesians in Kuala Lumpur, for example. There are also claims going around Twitter that Prabowo is leading in most countries. However, the General Elections Commission (KPU) reminded the public that these exit polls are not scientific and counting will only begin on July 9. – Rappler.com