All the materials appear authentic, and the way they are stamping and folding the ballots is correct. The green papers were used in this year’s provincial council election, and the blue ones for the national election. There’s a second step that you don’t see in this video, where they must fill in a voter card list, but maybe that is being done elsewhere. It looks like they are marking the ballots for different candidates, possibly to make things look more authentic. However, if there is an investigation, they might still get caught because they’re making identical tick marks.There are many ways in which they may have gotten their hands on this material, particularly in insecure areas of Afghanistan where the Independent Electoral Committee [the body ensured with carrying out the election] has great problems with control. The material is sometimes taken by force, or, more often, redirected when unmonitored.
This one is interesting, because it is set up like a polling station, at the side of a road. The staff is wearing IEC waistcoasts. There appear to be voters there as well, in the booths. All the materials are original. The men without waistcoasts appear to be filling in multiple ballots.
"The government put out too many ballots, making it easy to commit fraud"
While we haven’t yet been able to confirm the veracity of any of the videos published on social media, we had about 10,000 electoral observers spread all around the country, and they reported many cases of fraud – though less than in 2009, when there were fewer regulations in place. A big problem is that the government printed out 14 million paper ballots, which is a lot more than the actual number of voters in Afghanistan. [Estimates put turnout at 7 million]. This volume of extra ballots makes it easy to commit fraud.We expect the complaints commission to investigate all these videos of alleged fraud published on social media. And I think they will take this task seriously, because Aziz Ariafar, a prominent member of this commission, has already published some of these videos on his personal Facebook page and promised to verify them.