Not only in Indonesia, the atmosphere of the 2019 elections as democratic festivity was also felt in Houston, Texas, the United States. On Saturday, April 13, 2019, thousands of Indonesians came and exercised their rights to vote at the polling station (TPS) in the Indonesian Consulate Office Building in Houston.
For the Indonesian people in Houston, the event of the 2019 elections is a little different from the previous elections.
To enliven the atmosphere of the elections and treat longing for the country, the Indonesian Consulate General in Houston also opened a stage of entertainment with various performances of 'dangdut' dance and karaoke by the visitors.
This year's elections really became a venue for people's parties because in addition to providing a polling station, the Indonesian Consulate General in Houston also held the Indonesia Spring Market 2019 bazaar which was filled with more than 40 booths.
Indonesian souvenirs, clothing and snacks are offered at the bazaar which is attended by visitors both from the Indonesian and local communities of the United States.
"We hold this Dangdut and spring market because the election is not only a democratic festivity but also a people's fiesta, with nuances of union and unity. We hope that this year there will be more voters than the previous elections," said Consul General (Consul) of the Republic of Indonesia in Houston Nana Yuliana .
The number of Indonesian citizens who came to polling stations in Houston increased from that of the previous elections. In 2009, Indonesian citizens who voted directly at polling stations were 214 people. That number increased to 747 in 2014. This year, the number of Indonesian citizens who voted directly in polling stations until this news was revealed was 825 people.
Not only from Houston, voters also came from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and other cities in Texas which were around 3-5 hours from the Consulate General in Houston.
The Indonesian Consulate General in Houston has jurisdiction in 12 US states, from New Mexico to Florida, as well as the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. In the Consulate General's record, there were at least 20,748 Indonesian citizens in the Indonesian Consulate's jurisdiction, and 6,067 of them had voting rights.
The voting in Indonesian representatives in North America was held simultaneously on April 13, 2019, ahead of the voting in Indonesia which will be held on April 17.
In Houston alone, there are at least 19 Indonesian community organizations with various religious, ethnic and professional backgrounds. The excitement of this fiesta of democracy brings together Indonesian people in Houston far from the country.