Indonesian techies crowdsource election results

Ben Bland in the Financial Times: “Three Indonesian tech experts say they have used crowdsourcing to calculate an accurate result for the country’s contested presidential election in six days, while 4m officials have been beavering away for nearly two weeks counting the votes by hand.

The Indonesian techies, who work for multinational companies, were spurred into action after both presidential candidates claimed victory and accused each other of trying to rig the convoluted counting process, raising fears that the country’s young democracy was under threat.

“We did this to prevent the nation being ripped apart because of two claims to victory that nobody can verify,” said Ainun Najib, who is based in Singapore. “This solution was only possible because all the polling station data were openly available for public scrutiny and verification.”

Mr Najib and two friends took advantage of the decision by the national election commission (KPU) to upload the individual results from Indonesia’s 480,000 polling stations to its website for the first time, in an attempt to counter widespread fears about electoral fraud.

The three Indonesians scraped the voting data from the KPU website on to a database and then recruited 700 friends and acquaintances through Facebook to type in the results and check them. They uploaded the data to a website called, which means “guard the election” in Indonesian.

Throughout the process, Mr Najib said he had to fend off hacking attacks, forcing him to shift data storage to a cloud-based service. The whole exercise cost $10 for a domain name and $0.10 for the data storage….”