First-time voters popular target ahead of 2024 elections

General Elections Commission (KPU) chairman Hasyim Asyari (second right) talks to university students as part of their educational campaign on elections.

General Elections Commission (KPU) chairman Hasyim Asyari (second right) talks to university students as part of their educational campaign on elections.

Ahead of the 2024 Indonesian General Elections, political parties have started promotional activities by distributing banners, posters, and flags with the faces of political figures and certain party symbols adorning the streets. 

The General Elections Commission (KPU) and the Election Supervisory Body (Bawaslu) are also gearing up, targeting the nation’s youth groups as strategic partners to boost participation in the 2024 General Elections. 

According to a 2022 survey by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), 60% of voters were gen-Z and millennials with an age range of 17-39 years old. In addition, the KPU also released data on the number of young voters in 2022, citing as many as 578,139 new voters out of a total of 190,022,169 people.

Recently, KPU representatives visited campuses to educate university students about their electoral right through talk shows and music. One of the events in collaboration with the KPU and Kompas TV media entitled “Partysipasi” was held at Multimedia Nusantara University (UMN) in Tangerang, Banten. Joining KPU chairman Hasyim Ashari were popular singers, Gangga and Jaz. 

“KPU serves voters and election participants. If you come from different generations and are included in the voter category, then we have to really listen to what young friends expect from elections,” Hasyim said.

However, it is also a question of whether students are really interested in and aware of the 2024 elections. 

“To be honest, I don’t know [much about elections] because in my opinion it doesn’t have a significant impact on us as students, so I also don’t follow developments on this matter,” said Elora (20), a Communication student.

There is also Samiya (19) from the Business Faculty who admits that she doesn’t know anything about and does not follow developments at all on issues leading up to the 2024 elections.

But there are also students like Jonathan (19) from the Engineering Faculty who can name a potential presidential candidate for 2024, even though he does not know his political background and how far this figure has progressed toward the 2024 elections. 

“I don’t know which party he comes from, maybe Mr. Ganjar. Judging from the performance he served in an area, I also forgot,” said Jonathan, referring to Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), who is among the most popular presidential hopefuls for 2024 according to pollsters.

Jonathan admits that he is able to get information through social media, especially Instagram. However, he said he never intentionally searched for related information on the internet or news channels.

UMN Consulting conducted research on media consumption by Gen-Z in 2021, citing social media as the most popular source of information among Gen-Z.