So, I have voted on Saturday 5th July 2014. Yes, the election abroad was held before the 9th July. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be, it’s even pretty straightforward.
The Indonesian embassy is not too hard to find. It is located on Grosvernor Square, just near Hyde Park, London. You would be able to see our red and white national flag next to ASEAN’s flag. On this particular day, it is even easier to spot, because you could see people queuing to vote.
All you need to have is your passport. I saw some people come around without their passport, and couldn’t vote. I can understand his disappointment. I mean, I would be disappointed myself if I couldn’t vote after giving a lot of efforts to go there. However, I agreed with the committee that if you could not present anything to prove that you are an Indonesian citizen to be able to vote.
After I got myself registered, I was sent to the TPS3. This time, Mr. Fix-It would have to wait in the different area, because he was not going to vote. They have 3 different voting areas, people would sit on the waiting room, and wait until their name is called. When your name is called, you would have to present your passport once more, and then go to the next desk to get your ballot paper.
If you have never voted before, this is what happened when we vote.
One of the committee would open the paper in front of me, and show me that the paper is not tampered. After the ballot was signed, I took it to the voting stall. Unfold the ballot paper so you could see both candidates. You poke the ballot with the poking stick provided in the stall. Make sure you do it properly (they have the instruction in the wall, so you wouldn’t go wrong). Fold the paper back, and go out from the stall. Walk to the voting box, and drop your paper inside the box.
Next, you would get your finger — pinky finger of your left hand– dipped in the special ink, to show that you have voted. This is to avoid people cheating and wanting to vote twice.
At the embassy, they were having a little gathering. People are around swarming and eating Indonesian food. I didn’t stay long enough to join them, I have done my part for my country, I don’t need to socialise :p
There’s one thing though, that made me a little bit proud.
On our way to the embassy, Mr. Fix-It who accompanied me all the way said, “I admired your dedication. You go all the way here from Norwich just to vote and go home.”
I don’t have any reason why I shouldn’t.
Whoever the next president probably wouldn’t affect me as much, as I am no longer living permanently in Indonesia. But it would affect my family — my parents, my sisters, my brother, my friends, my grandmother… It would affect people that I care about. So yes, I went all the way from Norwich to London and back (almost 8 hours return journey), to vote and contribute.
I told my husband that in Indonesia, this particular presidential election is a big thing because IT COULD change Indonesia for the better. So if my voice could contribute in this, I wouldn’t mind doing this again, and again.
So, if your TPS is just on your neighbourhood, or even 10 minutes driving. GO. Use your rights to choose your own president.
If you think that whoever the president wouldn’t affect your life, think about how it would affect your beloved’s lives. You still have two days to think about it, and choose wisely.
So I voted. You’re next…