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Afghanistan

Fate of Some Disputed Votes Still Unclear: Sources

The fate of some of the 300,000 disputed votes that underwent a special audit still remains unclear, according to decisions of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC),  revealed by documents seen by TOLOnews.
 
On February 5 the IECC announced that a tiny percentage of the 300,000 disputed votes would undergo a special audit, rather than the assessment of all of the votes in question. 
 
From the total of 300,000 disputed votes, 102,000 votes--according to some campaign teams--were cast either before or after the legal hours for voting on election day.
 
According to sources within the IECC, there is a possibility that the elections go for a runoff if the IECC decides to invalidate these 102,000 votes.
 
An IECC member says that the decisions regarding the fate of the disputed votes are clear: 
 
“The decision has determined the fate of those votes,” said Chaman Shah Etemadi, head of the IECC Secretariat, in reference to disputed votes.
 
But campaign teams and the observers say that there has been confusion caused by the IECC’s decisions.
 
“There is some confusion about the decisions made by the electoral complaints commission,” said Sumaira Rasa, spokeswoman to Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA).
 
“There is a legal issue with the investigation of the 137,000 votes that were cast either before or after the legal time. Also the standards set to pass the special audit are very weak standards,” said Noor Rahman Akhlaqi, member of the Abdullah Abdullah-led Stability and Convergence Team.
 
But Ashraf Ghani’s led State Building team says that the IECC’s decisions are clear.
 
“The decisions are very clear, both on the 102,000 votes and the 137,000 votes,” said Daud Sultanzoi, a member of Ashraf Ghani’s led State Building team.
 
A document seen by TOLOnews shows that the IECC has ordered a special audit for votes from 2,126 polling stations out of a total of 2,423 polling stations and decided to validate votes from 297 polling stations. The 2,423 polling stations include votes that have not been registered biometrically, according to the IECC.
 
A brief look at 300,000 disputed votes:
 
The 300,000 disputed votes are from over 8,400 polling stations which, according to the Independent Election Commission (IEC), should be recounted.
 
Previously, the IEC invalidated approximately 86,000 votes out of the 300,000 disputed votes, and also invalidated the votes of 2,000 out of 2423 polling stations that had discrepancies or other issues with the corresponding biometric data, or which came from polling stations without working biometric devices on polling day.
 
IECC’s Special Audit Procedure:
 
Based on the IECC’s final decision, the commission will undertake a special audit of the 309 polling stations that yielded the 137,000 votes. If 65% of 309 polling stations complete the accepted criteria, then the IECC will recognize the total 137,000 votes as credible, but if these polling stations do not meet 35% of the IECC’s criteria, then all 137,000 votes will go for special audit.
 
Based on the IECC’s decision, the commission will also undertake the special audit of 1103 polling stations that yielded 102,000 votes that were allegedly cast either before or after the legal hours for voting on election day. If the special audit completed meets 65% of the IECC’s criteria, then the total 102,000 votes will be recognized as credible votes.
 
Also on Monday, members of the electoral monitoring institutions said that they have seen ambiguity around a decision by the IECC on auditing part of the 300,000 disputed that will eventually provide the way for the announcement of final results of the September presidential polls.
 
Observers and members of protesting campaign teams said that the IECC has made a decision to validate non-biometric votes based on their QR code, not based on a stamp in the data center. The observers said this decision needs clarification and that any “misuse” in this respect should be prevented.
 
They say that several parts of these decisions are not clear and that the entity should explain further.

Afghanistan

Fate of Some Disputed Votes Still Unclear: Sources

According to sources within the IECC, there is a possibility that the elections go for a runoff if the IECC decides to invalidate these 102,000 votes.

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The fate of some of the 300,000 disputed votes that underwent a special audit still remains unclear, according to decisions of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC),  revealed by documents seen by TOLOnews.
 
On February 5 the IECC announced that a tiny percentage of the 300,000 disputed votes would undergo a special audit, rather than the assessment of all of the votes in question. 
 
From the total of 300,000 disputed votes, 102,000 votes--according to some campaign teams--were cast either before or after the legal hours for voting on election day.
 
According to sources within the IECC, there is a possibility that the elections go for a runoff if the IECC decides to invalidate these 102,000 votes.
 
An IECC member says that the decisions regarding the fate of the disputed votes are clear: 
 
“The decision has determined the fate of those votes,” said Chaman Shah Etemadi, head of the IECC Secretariat, in reference to disputed votes.
 
But campaign teams and the observers say that there has been confusion caused by the IECC’s decisions.
 
“There is some confusion about the decisions made by the electoral complaints commission,” said Sumaira Rasa, spokeswoman to Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA).
 
“There is a legal issue with the investigation of the 137,000 votes that were cast either before or after the legal time. Also the standards set to pass the special audit are very weak standards,” said Noor Rahman Akhlaqi, member of the Abdullah Abdullah-led Stability and Convergence Team.
 
But Ashraf Ghani’s led State Building team says that the IECC’s decisions are clear.
 
“The decisions are very clear, both on the 102,000 votes and the 137,000 votes,” said Daud Sultanzoi, a member of Ashraf Ghani’s led State Building team.
 
A document seen by TOLOnews shows that the IECC has ordered a special audit for votes from 2,126 polling stations out of a total of 2,423 polling stations and decided to validate votes from 297 polling stations. The 2,423 polling stations include votes that have not been registered biometrically, according to the IECC.
 
A brief look at 300,000 disputed votes:
 
The 300,000 disputed votes are from over 8,400 polling stations which, according to the Independent Election Commission (IEC), should be recounted.
 
Previously, the IEC invalidated approximately 86,000 votes out of the 300,000 disputed votes, and also invalidated the votes of 2,000 out of 2423 polling stations that had discrepancies or other issues with the corresponding biometric data, or which came from polling stations without working biometric devices on polling day.
 
IECC’s Special Audit Procedure:
 
Based on the IECC’s final decision, the commission will undertake a special audit of the 309 polling stations that yielded the 137,000 votes. If 65% of 309 polling stations complete the accepted criteria, then the IECC will recognize the total 137,000 votes as credible, but if these polling stations do not meet 35% of the IECC’s criteria, then all 137,000 votes will go for special audit.
 
Based on the IECC’s decision, the commission will also undertake the special audit of 1103 polling stations that yielded 102,000 votes that were allegedly cast either before or after the legal hours for voting on election day. If the special audit completed meets 65% of the IECC’s criteria, then the total 102,000 votes will be recognized as credible votes.
 
Also on Monday, members of the electoral monitoring institutions said that they have seen ambiguity around a decision by the IECC on auditing part of the 300,000 disputed that will eventually provide the way for the announcement of final results of the September presidential polls.
 
Observers and members of protesting campaign teams said that the IECC has made a decision to validate non-biometric votes based on their QR code, not based on a stamp in the data center. The observers said this decision needs clarification and that any “misuse” in this respect should be prevented.
 
They say that several parts of these decisions are not clear and that the entity should explain further.

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