The NPR News item and podcast In Indonesia, Joko Widodo Secures Another 5-Year Term As President quotes Indonesian president Joko Widodo, and continues:

"Let us reunite as family. Let us strengthen our unity," he said. He urged patience until the official results were in. But the unofficial tally, which has proven to be accurate in the past, came with head-snapping speed. The system known as quick counts doesn't rely on asking people how they voted but rather projects the winner from a sample of the actual ballots marked. And it's all over just two hours after the polls close. You might call it a model of efficiency if you weren't the challenger. Prabowo Subianto says his own tracking showed that he had won and insisted that some polls had opened late.

This seems to suggest that the unofficial tally is not completely unofficial, in the sense that it requires access to a sample of actual votes.

Sampling theory is a substantial topic unto itself, it's important to sample correctly, and to combine data and interpret it with caution and a good understanding of the errors.

Question: How does Indonesia's unofficial presidential election tally work, such that it might possibly produce reasonably informative results and yet finish with "head-snapping" speed?

update: As noted in comments below, Indonesia has some notable aspects that are germane here; 17,000 islands, hundreds of languages, 810,000 polling stations and 6,000,000 election workers could make fast yet accurate tallying quite the challenge.

  • 3
    I do not know about Indonesia, but in other countries they just count the first dozens of votes from each polling station and use them to predict the final results while to recounting is still ongoing. – SJuan76 Apr 18 '19 at 8:16
  • @SJuan76 so a station that receives 100 votes and one that receives 10,000 votes are treated statistically equally? Can you cite a source for this? I'd like to read further. Thanks! – uhoh Apr 18 '19 at 8:17
  • 3
    I do not know if the participation data is taken into account, but you usually can have an approximate number of how many people have voted as soon as the stations close (just write down a stick anytime some puts a vote in the ballot box). – SJuan76 Apr 18 '19 at 9:04
  • over one month later, ABC news: Post-election riots in Jakarta leave 6 dead, hundreds injured interesting factoid: "Indonesia has a huge social media presence. Around 92% of the population actively uses Facebook, and 2% of all global public tweets are sent from Jakarta, making it Twitter’s No. 1 posting city in June 2012, according to research by Semiocast." – uhoh May 23 '19 at 4:54
  • 1
    2 hours after the polls close would be very slow in France for the presidential election. TVs announce the winner at the minute polls close, and they don't do it before since it is forbidden by law in France. You can have the result (precise to the second decimal place) about one hour before by looking at Belgian newspapers online. – Taladris Jun 12 '19 at 10:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .