What to do on 5th April 2014?
Afghan citizens who are registered will go to the polls on 5th April to vote for their favorite candidates.
To make voting easier and faster, almost 6,969 polling centers with 28,443 polling stations have been established and will welcome the voters from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The polling center will remain open for voters who arrive before 4 p.m.
What should I do on Election Day if I am away from the district where I was issued an election card?
You can go to any polling centers that are close by and vote in the presidential elections. To vote for the provincial council elections you must vote in the province where you are registered.
If the voter has been issued the election card in Logar province and happens to be in Kabul on the Election Day, can he/she cast his//her vote?
Yes, a voter can go to any polling center in Kabul to vote, but will only be provided with the presidential election ballot and will not be given a ballot to vote for provincial council members of Kabul.
What about those who happen to be sick or are in prison on Election Day?
If the sick person is a family member and at home, he or she should be accompanied by another family member to polling center for voting and if at a hospital, he/she can vote in the polling station to be established at the hospital. For prisoners, polling centers will be set up in the jail; however, prisoners convicted of serious crimes are not entitled to participate in the election.
Can a husband vote for his wife or vise versa or can one family member vote instead of another?
Based on the Afghanistan election law, voting is done directly. It means every person has one vote and no one can represent anyone else. Separate voting stations will be set up for women.
How will the polling center look
Polling centers will be set up in public community buildings such as schools. Men and womenwill vote separately and police will guard the security of the centers. No one will be permitted entry to the polling center with arms. In every polling center, there will be several polling stations.
What should I do when entering the polling station?
You should have your voting card and show it to the election personnel and then should let the election personnel ink your finger. When given the voting card you should go to the voting booth and tick a marks for your favorite candidate on each ballot, and then take it to the ballot box.
What are the duties of the election workers?
The election workers check each voting card and make sure the picture in the card resembles the holder of the card; they also make sure the voter is from this province. AThen they put special ink on the index finger of the right hand of the voter. The ink will not fade for several days. This is to ensure no one votes more than once even if they have more than one card. After that, the worker writes down the card number, punches a hole in it and returns it to the voter so he/she can use it for the parliamentary elections next year.
The voter is given two ballot papers, one for presidential election and the other for provincial council members election, that he takes to a voting room or booth. This place is private and no one else will be there when the voter marks the ballot papers. No one will know how you voted.
How is the ballot paper designed and how should I mark it?
The presidential election ballot is green and provincial council ballot is brown. The presidential election ballot is one page while the provincial council election ballots vary from one to many pages. The ballot lists all the candidates including their number, name, and relevant party, photos and election symbols.
Next to the symbols is a blank square, and inside this you should mark your choice of candidate with the special pen provided. (√) his
Can I mark more than one blank square in the ballot?
No, you should not do that. Based on the law every candidate is entitled to elect only one candidate for president and one candidate for provincial council. So, mark only one blank square and not more than that. Ballots with more than one candidate marked will not be counted.
What will happen then?
After you mark your ballot, fold the ballot and leave the voting booth. Take your ballot papers and place them into their correct boxes: the presidential ballot paper into the presidential ballot box and the provincial council member ballot paper into that ballot box. Then leave the polling station.
What will the illiterate citizens do?
They can bring a family member along to help them or the election personnel will guide them in the process.
Independent election commission personnel introduce the pictures of the candidates to the illiterate voter and tell them which photo matches with which name.
Illiterate voters also can use the symbol to remember their candidates. These are simply drawn pictures of common objects that are easy to remember.
What will be done with those who have more than one card?
Having more than one card is useless because the finger of the voter will be inked with special ink that can't be removed and will not fade for several days.
Who will monitor the election to avoid any violations?
Officials and personnel of the Independent Election Commission, representatives of the candidates, representatives of the political parties, national and international observers, and media outlets who will be permitted into the polling centers to observe the voting process.
Who will deal with the violations in election?
The Election Complaints Commission was formed based on the election law and includes three members introduced by the United Nations, a member of the Independent Human Rights Commission, and a member of the Supreme Court. These five people are entrusted to legally deal with or clear all the complaints.
Can I carry my weapon to the polling center to safeguard myself?
No, this is not permitted and should not be necessary, as there will be national and international security forces responsible for election security. They will be deployed outside the polling centers and no one except them, even in the cases of security incidents, will be allowed entry to the polling centers.
How will the Afghan refugees abroad participate in the election and vote?
Afghan refugees who have the voting card can vote if they are inside Afghanistan during the elections. Otherwise Afghans who are outside the country may not vote in these elections.
Are there men in the female polling stations?
Males will not be permitted to enter to the female polling stations, and the workers are all women. The only time men would enter would be the security personnel who are addressing security problems.
What will happen if the election does not end within the allotted time?
The voting will formally end at four p.m., however any voters who arrive at the polling station before four p.m. can vote and the election personnel are responsible to continue their duties until all the voters have cast their ballots.
What will happen after the end of the duty of polling centers?
The end of the voting process will be declared, and the start of the votes counting will begin.
When will the counting of votes be completed and winner declared?
The counting will begin in the polling stations. The results paper, which shows how many votes each candidate obtained, along with the counted ballot papers will be carried to the provincial election commission. Then the results papers of all stations will be carried from provincial centers to election commission headquarters in Kabul, where the result papers will be checked in a computerized system, results from all stations across the country will be counted and the results will be announced.
When will the final results be announced?
The final result will be announced on 17th Sept after complaints and objections are addressed.
How many votes should the presidential candidate obtain to win the elections?
At the end of the counting period the candidate who wins more than 50 percent of the votes will be the winner. If no one wins more than 50 percent of the votes, the election law requires a run-off election in which the two candidates with the highest votes will compete, and whoever wins the majority of the votes will be the winner.
How can I be sure that the results papers of the election will not be changed when it is carried from the polling stations to the provincial election office and then to the election headquarters?
The election commission posts a copy of the results paper in the respective polling station before it is taken away, and they will also hand over two copies of the results to representatives of the candidates and of the political parties present at the site. Recipients of the two copies will be based on a drawing.)
Can a Kuchi vote for the provincial council elections?
No. Because Kuchis do not have residence in a single province, they can only vote for the presidential election and therefore they will be handed only the presidential election ballot when they enter the polling station.
What should I do if someone violates election law?
Inform the Independent Election Commission personnel present at the site. You can also object and post complaints at the provincial capital.
Editor's note: Dr. Shahla Haq, training and capacity development manager of the Independent Election Commission, provided the answers above.
What to do on 5th April 2014?