Almost a month after Afghanistan’s presidential election – the fourth election in the country’s history after the US invasion – Dermalog, the company that provided biometric devices to the Election Commission, confirmed in a letter that over 1.9 million votes are biometrically registered.
The German firm says in the letter that from the over 1.9 million votes, 137,630 are under “server quarantine.”
The Dermalog letter is a response to a letter by the Independent Election Commission on Oct. 26, in which the electoral body asked for clarification on three following topics:
• Clarification on why the system data shows over 1.9 million biometric registered votes while candidates can see only 1.7 million.
• The status of the deduplication process.
• The final data of every polling station, polling center, and province after the deduplication process ends.
Based on Dermalog’s letter, the total number of voters with biometric identities is 1,929,333.
“The exchange of letters between us, the Election Commission, and Dermalog are to confirm whether 1,791,000 or 1,929,000 is correct. And to clarify why there is a contrast. They should convince us and the candidates’ representatives on this,” Election Commissioner Mohammad Abdullah said.
Dermalog mentioned in the letter that they discovered on the server that “in several cases, operators submitted results sheets early in the morning, before the end of the Election Day.” Thus, the letter continued, “the biometric device for the polling station was then deactivated.”
“In order to continue with the biometric voter registration on election day in that polling station, the operators activated the backup biometric device and continued with biometric voter registration. The operators submitted the second result sheet with the biometric data to the server, but the server kept them under quarantine,” the Dermalog letter explained in response to the Commission’s concerns about fraudulent votes.
The company’s letter says that some votes were kept in quarantine when two result sheets were used from the same polling station.
Dermalog vows in the letter to provide “the list of frauds” to the Independent Election Commission once the deduplication process ends.
“The email is not enough. The polling stations should be identified. The Election Commission should clarify from the polling stations which backup devices were used,” the head of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan, Yusuf Rasheed said.