Excerpts of an interview with an Afghan student a week after voting:
“The elections went very well. The turnout was high, especially considering threats by the Taliban and heavy rains on election day…Personally I felt very happy about the number of voters; it shows that people are thoughtful about their destinies and the future of the country.
There have, however, been a number of issues that made voters suspicious of the counting process and the IEC. The shortage of ballots was one of the main issues. In the western part of Kabul, but also in many of the provinces, stations had run out of ballots by midday, which was very disappointing. After six rounds of elections, it seems strange that IEC officials and the government still don’t know how many ballots stations need. It seemed like it could have been a systematic plan and a conspiracy to prevent voters from voting for Abdullah since most of the ballots seemed to have run out in areas where Abdullah had supports…
Another important stage of the election is the counting process and the release of preliminary and final results. The IEC and ECC need to be very cautious and transparent in these stages because it will shape the confidence of voters in the entire election process. If the IEC or ECC is not transparent, people will lose their trust in elections. If this happens, people or the candidates might not accept the results of the election. In such a case the result may be very controversial and could lead to disputes between candidates.”