Indonesia says 71 election workers died from exhaustion

Indonesia says 71 election workers died from exhaustion

Supporters of Indonesia's defence minister and leading presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, and his running mate Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the eldest son of Indonesian President Joko Widodo and current Surakarta mayor, cheer during an event to watch the results of the general election in Jakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday. (Reuters photo)
Supporters of Indonesia's defence minister and leading presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, and his running mate Gibran Rakabuming Raka, the eldest son of Indonesian President Joko Widodo and current Surakarta mayor, cheer during an event to watch the results of the general election in Jakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday. (Reuters photo)

Seventy-one people have so far died from exhaustion following the world’s largest single-day election in Indonesia last week, according to the government.

Some 4,000 others fell sick between Feb 14 and Feb 18 due to fatigue after helping run the Feb 14 election, Hasyim Asy’ari, chairman of the nation’s poll body said in a press conference in Jakarta on Monday. 

The latest election still claimed dozens of lives even after the government imposed an age cap for volunteers and mandated health checks after more than 500 polling station workers died following the 2019 vote. 

Five million paid volunteers worked at 800,000 voting booths across the nation in last week’s voting that lasted about 6 hours. More than 200 million citizens were registered to cast their ballots to elect a president, vice president and legislators on the national and local levels. 

Running a voting process in Indonesia requires working around the clock to distribute, count and report hundreds of paper ballots that could last more than 12 hours after polling booths close.

Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto has declared victory in the presidential race, citing the unofficial results of multiple quick counts. The official results will be announced by March 20.

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