Hundreds of eligible voters were deprived of casting ballots in Saturday’s presidential election.
An Afghan media findings show that hundreds of voters were deprived of their right due to failure of biometric machines and flawed voter lists.
The mentioned media`s reporters were present at voting centres in the capital Kabul and provinces. They reported names of many people were missing from voter lists.
According to Pajhwok many voters could not exercise their right due to faulty biometric devices and the absence of a separate section for women voters.
Mohammad Hakim Behzad, resident of Khairkhana Kotal, who wanted to cast his vote, told Pajhwok: “We have come here since 7am in the morning, now it is 10am, our names cannot be found in voter list so we have to go home without exercising our right to vote.”
He was unhappy over being deprived of his right: “This problem should have been addressed before to ensure our participation in the voting process.”
Asma, a resident of the 17th police district of Kabul, said biometric devices did not work in the women’s section and hundreds of women went back home without voting.
Hayatullah, hailing from Qala-i-Zaman Khan area, told Pajhwok biometric machines remained out of order for a few hours at the Hazrat Bilal Mosque polling centre. As a result, dozens of people went back without casting their ballots.
The voting centre change was another problem that inconvenienced the people. Abdul Mosawer, an inhabitant of the 15th police district, was registered at the Fatimatu-z-Zahra polling centre, which was moved to the Shah Awlia Mosque.
He went to the area but found the centre closed. After being informed of the shifting, he had went to the polling station but could not find his name on the voter list.
Mohammad Yunus Mehreen, another Kabul resident, said: “I went to the polling station where I had been registered. Unfortunately, my name was not on the list and thus I could not cast my vote.”
Ahmad Javed, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif, wanted to cast his vote at Fatimatu-z-Zahra Balkhi School polling station. He waited until 9am but his name was missing from the list.
Dr. Abdul Ali Halim, a former Faryab Civil Hospital Director who also did not cast his vote at Abu Muslim madrasa’s polling station, said his name was missing from the voter list.
“I registered my name at this polling station and voted in the Wolesi Jirga election but now officials say my name has been deleted from the voter lists and I did not find someone responsible to convince me in this regard.”
Najibullah Noori, another voter at Ibni Yamen high school in Maimana City, the provincial capital, told Pajhwok his name was not in the voters’ lists and he could not vote.
He accused IEC officials of no cooperation with voters regard and just sent them from one polling station to another.
Meanwhile, Munir Ahmad, a resident of Shiberghan, Jawzjan’s capital, told Pajhwok that he was deprived of casting his vote because his name was deleted from the biometric system and voters’ lists.
Nooria, a resident of Aibak, the provincial capital of northern Samangan province, told Pajhwok she was enthusiastic to cast her vote for a presidential candidate but her name was not on the voter lists and biometric system.
A number of other people in Kandahar, Parwan, Kapisa, Punjshir, Herat, Takhar and Nangarhar faced similar problems and their names were missing from voter lists.
Habib Rahman Nang, Independent Election Commission (IEC) secretary, told Pajhwok that some individuals’ names might be deleted due to technical problems but the voters could cast their vote.
He said if someone’s name was included in biometric system or voter lists, then they could cast their votes.