Making it count

Ainun Najib decided to get involved in Indonesia’s 2014 General Election first by becoming a witness for the Legislative Elections in Singapore. He then put his IT skills to use by creating, a simple exit poll system using a smart phone or tablet administered by volunteers that accurately predicted the overseas voting results in six countries.

During the recent elections, Ainun felt that the nation was divided. In one day he could see the tension in social media and on the ground. It was a really tight margin and there was a possibility of dispute on the outcome. The president himself smelt trouble …

So Ainun and a small army of volunteers decided to take action.

His brainchild, was brought to life by a virtual team of Indonesian programmer friends from around the world. One based in Silicon Valley, one in Sydney, Australia, one in Germany, one in the Netherlands and Ainun in Singapore. They developed the software over 2 days, which by tech standards Ainun felt was quite long. But in the long run, was the most robust..

They created a secret Facebook group and crowd sourced volunteers on the ground across the globe. They reached 700 volunteers in 3-4 days. As the election unfolded, these volunteers went out to the polling booths to collect and make transparent true voting data. One volunteer (Indonesian-based) collected data from 7,354 polling stations in 5 days – all by himself! 

They weren’t the only group to do it, but they were the most successful. Relying on their secret group of supporters was key – trustworthy people made a difference. is the first instance in the world of a crowd-sourcing project to have had such an important impact.