People Innovation Excellence

Guarding Indonesia’s election (in their spare time)

Left to Right: Felix Halim, Andoko Chandra, Ainun Najib, Bramandia R, Raymondus Kosala, Andrian Kurniady –  Source: Felix Halim


source: Google Asia Pacific –

An interesting thing happened last month after Indonesia concluded its third direct presidential election. We found out, like the rest of the world, that two of our software engineers developed a website ( to help guard the vote counting process following the National Election Commission’s decision to upload voting results to its official government website.

Results from the July 9 election were among the closest ever recorded and the Googlers grew concerned after both candidates declared victory. Indonesians Felix Halim, based in Mountain View, and Andrian Kurniady, based in Sydney (both Binus International Computer Science alumni), joined forces with with three other Indonesian friends in Singapore, Germany, and the Netherlands to create Kawal Pemilu, or Guard the Election.

Working on their own time and using their own resources, they built a crowdsourcing system from scratch in two days. On July 13, they released it to the trusted volunteers to begin digitizing the scanned voting forms coming in from over 470,000 polling sites from around the archipelago. “By opening up the information to public scrutiny, we hoped the system would help reduce uncertainty, fears of electoral fraud and restore the public’s faith in one of the most important events in Indonesia’s young democracy,” explained Kurniady.

In six days, hundreds of volunteers had digitized 97 percent of the voting forms. The website got nearly three million page views and was cited by Indonesian media after it was made public on July 14. “This helped the election commission and the public find and flag any anomalies with the votes at any level so they could get it fixed,” adds Halim

The official, aggregated counts were later added with the same intent of providing up-to-date and organized information in a public setting. “We did this to inspire fellow Indonesians and to show the positive impact one can make when applying technology effectively.”

Both Googlers would also like to thank the election commission for opening up their data as well as the volunteers for contributing their time to make this effort possible.

Posted by Rudy Ramawy, Country Head, Google Indonesia

Published at : Updated

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