Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

IEC Says Paper Ballot Poll is the Only Option for Elections

IEC Says Paper Ballot Poll is the Only Option for Elections

KABUL - The Independent Election Commission (IEC) officials on Sunday said due to financial and procurement challenges, they will not be able to roll out a digital voter list and that a paper ballot election is their only option for next year’s parliamentary and district council elections.
According to IEC officials, a paper ballot can however pave the way for electoral fraud but that at this stage they have no other option.
The Independent Election Commission has been working to roll out a digital voters list for the past five months, but on Sunday the IEC’s operational deputy head Wasima Badghisi said they will not be able to get this done in time for July elections.
“I think holding a paper ballot election seems more possible for the upcoming elections. But the 2019 (presidential) elections will be digitized,” said Badghisi.
The institutions overseeing the election process meanwhile criticized the election commission and said the commission does not have the capability of handling important election plans.
“There will be more opportunity for fraud and corrupt people will make themselves ready to commit fraud,” Naeem Ayoubzada, head of Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan said.
“The method (digitizing) was not studied correctly and its features and properties were not prepared accurately. A complex procurement process was launched, the issue got multiple dimensions and different departments interfered in the issue,” Yusuf Rasheed, CEO of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan said.
Despite these challenges, the fate of the IEC head secretariat Imam Mohammad Warimach who was fired by the president is still unclear and this has divided the commissioners.
“A number of our colleagues believe that we should ask for more clarity from government, but some others say we should wait for a formal letter from the president,” Badghisi added.
The election commission has said in the past they must digitize voters lists as bringing reforms, holding a transparent election and regaining peoples trust are key aims of the commission. (Tolonews)