NDI Afghanistan election update

Sept. 2, 2010, 10:56 a.m.

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) has released an election update brief, highlighting the situation in Afghanistan ahead of the upcoming election.   The brief contains observations from NDI's team, as well information on the political, security and women's rights situation.

The UN spent over $100 million (including $65 million from the U.S.) to improve voter registration in 2009, but election officials told NDI that some candidates paid women in particular to obtain multiple voting cards because no photo is required for the female card. Also, on July 22, the AIHRC reported, “in some southeastern provinces, such as Paktia and Khost, candidates are buying voter cards for 200 to 500 Pakistani rupees ($2.31 to $5.77). The voter cards are printed in Dera Ismail Khan district of Pakistan, and could be used widely on election day.” The lack of a voter registry worsens the problem of duplicate cards. In 2005, the JEMB reported, “the absence of a reliable voter registry and the resulting absence of an exact voter list for each polling station was one of the most significant weaknesses of the electoral process, seriously affecting the accuracy of logistical planning and the election administration’s ability to protect against electoral fraud.” As in all past elections, no voter registry will be present at the polling stations.

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