Fraud, but how much?

While counting votes, it’s clear that there was a large amount of fraud in the second round of voting, very possibly much more than in the first.  The problem is, there also seems to be a much higher turnout in many parts of the Pashtun south and east where accusations of fraud are also highest.  Untangling the difference between fraud and higher turnout is going to be instrumental in terms of getting the count right.  Doing this in a transparent manner, that is accepted by both sides, will be even more important in the hopes of avoiding bloodshed.  One of the issues, however, is that different districts and provinces had rather different experiences during the voting process and it’s not easy to make wide conclusions for the entire country.  For an analysis of the Loya Paktya region, one of the key Pashtun areas in the southeast (and one of the regions we focused on in Derailing Democracy in Afghanistan), see this excellent AAN report by Pakteen Ibrahimi and Kate Clark: Elections 2014 (32): A second round surge in turnout in Loya Paktia?

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