The Independent Election Commission, IEC, has begun training for almost 100,000 employees on the use of biometric devices. This technology, which is intended to prevent the same person from voting multiple times, will be used in the September 28 presidential election.
Critics say the process should have begun earlier because the contracted employees need one week for training, but only five days remain before the election.
IEC officials said they have completed “90 percent” of pre-election preparations for the use of biometric devices, as well as the transfer of election materials to polling stations, and other relevant tasks.
TOLOnews reporter Sharif Amiri used a biometric device and confirmed that it can identify a voter who would try to vote a second time.
There were doubts about the functioning of the biometric devices, but Zabihullah, an IT expert at the IEC, said the devices are working properly.
“A voter can go to another center and vote (again), but the system will show it as a duplicate vote after the information from (polling centers) is sent to the main server after the election day,” Zabihullah said.
The IEC is using almost 40,000 biometric devices in more than 21,000 polling stations (over 4,900 polling centers) on the election day, according to IEC.
An IEC spokesman, Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, said election materials have been sent to 127 districts out of 375 districts countrywide.
“Our programs have been completed by almost 90 percent. We will finish the training on September 27 and the [new] appointments will be completed within the next two days,” Ibrahimi said. “But there are some security concerns.”
But a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, Fawad Aman, said special operations are underway to ensure the safety of the election and facilitate the secure transfer of election materials.
“All election materials will be transferred to provinces within the next two days. Afghan forces are fully ready to ensure the election’s security,” Aman said.
IEC reports that almost 9.6 million people have registered to vote in the coming election.