Aug. 20, 2009, midnight
Vote counting and tabulation is underway following the end of voting in Afghanistan's first-round Presidential elections. According to initial reports, turnout was generally low, and especially so in the south, where Taliban members had erected roadblocks and threatened voters. There have been several reports of violence and fraud, with one scheme to sell voter identification cards disrupted earlier this week. There ultimately were 34 candidates. According to most reports, former Foreign Minister Abdullah ABDULLAH has emerged as incumbent President Hamid KARZAI'S main challenger.