According to officials at the commission, this step was taken to ensure transparency and to prevent the use of fake ID cards.
“At the time of the correction, the commission identified and removed about 400,000 ID cards,” said Zabi Sadat, the commission deputy spokesman.
Before the presidential election, the IEC had asked the Central Statistic Organization (CSO) to review the list to identify fake voters.
After analyzing the list, the Central Statistic Organization flagged another 27,000 names that were allegedly not registered with the birth certificate office, but the CSO asked the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to confirm that these names should be deleted. Allegedly, the Election Commission accepted the decision made by the CSO.
Presidential candidates say the Election Commission has compromised its neutrality by taking this step.
“Nobody consulted us about this issue of ID cards that should be deleted. Unfortunately, we have information that some of the CSO staff–who I don’t want to name—worked directly for specific government teams,” said Abdul Latif Pedram, a presidential candidate.
However, the Central Statistic Organization says they acted in coordination with the IEC.
“We analyzed and reviewed our basic books, including about 27,000 records that had problems, and we shared it with the IEC and our decision was not declared invalid,” said Ahmad Javid Rasouli, head of the CSO.
The Political Committee of Parties and Political Movements accused the IEC of withdrawing the names of 400,000 voters without coordinating with the parties.
“The Central Statistic Organization should be held accountable for this as should the IEC, which is guilty because it had to announce and install the voter list at every polling station a few days before the election,” said Hamyoun Jarir, a member of the committee.
The political committee of the parties and a number of presidential candidates find the withdrawal of some of the voters’ names questionable and call on the IEC and the CSO to be held accountable.