Some districts that were under threat of attack during the election received improbably high vote counts, while ballot boxes in secure districts received unlikely low counts.
Garmsir, a district in the southern province of Helmand, registered 8,000 votes, despite its fragile security situation, whereas another Helmand district, Nad-e-Ali--which is relatively calm compared to Garmsir--only received 6000 votes.
Local officials in Helmand have estimated the total number of votes to be 113,000, but the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has estimated the total to be over 115,000.
The Afghan Ministry of Defense confirms that Garmsir is one of the districts that government forces want to clear of Taliban.
“The Afghan National Security and Defense Forces are undertaking major plans to not only clear Garmsir, but all those areas where there are enemies,” said Rohullah Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the Afghan defense ministry.
Along with Helmand, there was a dispute in Takhar province.
“64,226 people participated in the elections,” said Mohammad Jawad Hejri, spokesman for the Takhar governor, and the Election Commission also gives this number, but local officials insist that the number of voters far exceeded this.
Kunduz province is a province which has witnessed major security ups and downs over recent months.
Several districts in Kunduz were under attack only days before the elections.
“A major turnout was recorded in Imam Sahib district where 5,000 people voted, but turnout in Chahar Dara was quite low and only 26 people voted,” said Ghulam Rabbani, head of Kunduz provincial council.
Such disparity in the same province makes election observers and others involved in the process wonder about the possibility of fraud.
Election observers have been pushing the Election Commission to clarify the exact number of voters in the elections.
“If the number of votes is greater than the registered lists of voters, these lists are not valid,” said Aurangzeb, an IEC commissioner.
While preparing this report, local officials in Balkh told TOLOnews that the security threats had unprecedented impacts on the low voting turnout in Chahar Bolak and Mangajik districts.
And there were allegations of ballot-stuffing in Baghlan:
“The election officials did not manage to transfer the ballot boxes, so the ballot boxes were stuffed by certain people for their preferred candidate,” said Azim Mohseni, MP from Baghlan.