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Avoid Abstentions to Realize the 2024 Election with Integrity


General Elections  (Pemilu) are one of the important moments in democratic life in Indonesia. But unfortunately, there are still many citizens who choose to abstain, or do not cast their vote. So this can waste participation and voting rights in choosing future leaders. Participation in the 2024 elections is a citizen’s right and obligation. This is a way to ensure that their interests are represented and their rights are safeguarded.

General elections are an important way to participate in a democratic system and influence the direction of a country or government. Additionally, Golput, an abbreviation for “white group,” refers to the act of not voting or not taking part in elections. Abstentions can result in leaders who may not reflect values ​​or interests being elected, which can have a negative impact on society. By voting, people have the opportunity to influence government policy by maintaining democracy.

Public participation in elections can help create desired changes, such as environmental, social welfare, or economic policies. Apart from that, participating in elections is a social responsibility that must be carried out by every citizen. This is part of the obligation to keep democracy alive and functioning. Therefore, abstention is not the right solution in the current democratic climate.

Elections are the basic rights and obligations of citizens in a democracy. By voting, citizens have contributed to electing leaders and representatives who will decide on policies and actions that affect everyday life. In addition, by actively participating in elections, the public can help elect representatives or leaders who are in line with their desired values ​​and vision, thereby creating a government that is more in line with the wishes of the people.

Meanwhile, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs (Menkopolhukam), Mahfud MD appealed to people who have met the requirements as prospective voters to be able to exercise their voting rights in the 2024 elections, so that no one abstains.

Apart from that, Mahfud also said that the higher the voter participation in an election and regional head election, the more representatives and government that represents all levels and aspirations of society will be produced.

Apart from that, the 2024 Simultaneous Regional Elections and Pilkada require community participation to make the once-every-five-yearly democratic festival an instrument in achieving a developed Indonesia. Apart from that, through the use of voting rights, people’s representative institutions and government in Indonesia can be occupied by people who are competent and meet the people’s expectations.

Abstentions have several potential dangers and have negative impacts, both at the individual level and at the community and state level. Apart from that, Golput can reduce people’s representation in the democratic process. When many citizens choose not to vote, election results may not reflect the true desires and interests of various groups in society. So with a low level of participation, elections can be vulnerable to manipulation or deviation of results by small groups or interested parties.

So by not participating in elections, individuals may miss opportunities to influence the choice of candidates or policies that will affect them directly. Additionally, in abstention situations, small groups active in elections may have greater influence in determining outcomes and policies, which may not always reflect the public interest.

People need to be careful when inviting other people to abstain. Because this behavior will be subject to criminal sanctions for three years and a no-nonsense fine, namely IDR 36 million. This is regulated in article 515 of the Election Law which states, “Any person who deliberately on voting day promises or gives money or other materials to voters not to exercise their right to vote or vote for certain election participants shall be punished with a maximum imprisonment of 3 (three) year and a maximum fine of IDR 36,000,000.00 (thirty-six million rupiah).”

In Article 515 of the Election Law, only those who can be punished are limited to those who encourage other people to abstain on election day by promising something in the form of money or material. If it is outside election day, and does not promise anything, this provision cannot be applied.

Vice President KH Ma’ruf Amin hopes for community involvement in ensuring that the 2024 elections run smoothly. Apart from playing a role in maintaining conduciveness, Vice President Ma’ruf Amin believes that using the right to vote properly is one of the keys. Apart from that, it is important to use your voting rights properly to avoid abstention. Because the voice of the people determines the course of government and Indonesia’s future progress.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that in a healthy democratic system, active citizen participation is key to maintaining a fair, transparent and forward-looking political process. Therefore, it is better to participate in elections and use voting rights to help shape the future of the country.

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