The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has the top responsibility for ensuring that Afghanistan's elections are free and fair. Its formation and role are important to understand, as the legitimacy of the entire process depends on the commission's work.
Under the constitution of Afghanistan, the commission has the authority and responsibility to administer and supervise all elections, including referendums of the people.
The commission was formed based on Presidential Decree No. 21, dated 19 Jan 2005. The commission has 7 members, including a chairperson and a deputy chairperson, and two of the members are to be women. Fazal Ahmad Manawi, is the chairman while enator Abdul Khaliq Hossaini Pashaye is deputy of the commission.
Election Commission Secretariat
The Election Commission Secretariat is the executive body of the commission that is responsible for implementation and operation of the election, based on the  framework organized by the  Independent Election Commission. The secretariat is supervised by its director, who is appointed by the president from among nominees of the commission.
Election  personnel implement the decisions, directives and guidelines adopted by the commission secretariat and they have regional and permanent offices in the 34 provinces as well as in Kabul.
Mr. Ziaulhaq Amarkhil, who has a degree in Islamic Studies, heads the secretariat; Amarkhil has work experience with the United Nations.
Electoral Complaints Commission
The Electoral Complaints Commission is an independent Afghan entity which has authority to resolve objections and complaints regarding the election process.
The Electoral Complaints Commission was formed again for the 2009 elections. The ECC can deal with violations in the election such as bribery, vote-counting fraud, registration fraud, or threats to elections workers; and  can impose fines or order election recounts if  the violations are proved. In addition, the ECC can also deal with the objections about the eligibility of candidates and can remove candidates from the list. And it can refer offenders to the prosecutor's office in serious cases. The headquarters of the Electoral Complaints Commission is in Kabul, and the provincial offices of the ECC in all provinces of Afghanistan represent the central commission. Each provincial  complaints commission includes three commissioners and one supporting administrators. Eight of the provincial offices maintain additional facilities  for justice and research that can assist the offices in other provinces.
Each person and organization that has a legal interest in the election and claims there has been a violation of the election law is entitled to submit its complaints to Electoral Complaints Commission and its provincial offices. All voters and representatives of the candidates are entitled to this right.
Electoral media commission
The electoral media commission establishes a three-member electoral media commission to monitor the fair reporting of media outlets during the electoral campaign.  
The electoral media commission monitors coverage of the election campaigns by the mass media, and deals with complaints of violations of fair reporting principles and coverage of the political campaigns as well as all violations of the mass media code of conduct. The media commission organizes a funded program that provides each presidential candidate with free time for advertisements through radio and TV.
The commission monitors compliance with the silence period of the media in the 48 hours before the Election Day and during Election Day. During silence period, the media is not allowed to publicize any political activities of any of the candidates; and may not publish any survey results, public comments or feedback of the voters who have voted.
During the election process the media outlets are requested to cooperate with the electoral media commission and help  Afghan citizens know why their votes count, and cover issues on policies and agendas of the candidates, basic issues of campaign and how the Afghanistan citizens can participate in the elections.
Any registered voter, political party, candidate or their representative can file a complaint about violations of media policy. The complaint should be written in a special form prepared by the electoral media commission, and signed by a witness of the violation of the law or  policy and should be submitted to the IEC or media commission 72 hours after it takes place.
The electoral media commission reviews all the complaints and when necessary they refer it to the media commission of the Ministry of Information and Culture.
At the end of its service, 30 days after the declaration of the final election results, the media commission presents its work report to the Independent Election Commission.
Local and international observers
Elections in Afghanistan will extensively be monitored by local and international representatives.
Political parties, election candidates, civil society, United Nations and media outlets are allowed to monitor the election process.
Representatives of these entities can be present in the polling centers and at tabulation of the votes.
A non-governmental foundation named Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan which aims to monitor the Afghan elections has recently started operation.