Potential Voting Fraud Concern for Afghan Women

As Afghanistan approaches their August presidential election, the potential for voter fraud that infringes on women’s rights is gaining visibility. Women have been registering to vote in suspiciously high levels in regions of the country where women rarely travel. In a press conference, Dr. Sima Samar, chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission explained that “men are just bringing the names of a woman and getting registration cards on their behalf and that is why I can say there is a possibility of fraud,” Reuters reported.

Samar further explained “Two issues are of concern for me. First is that the right of the woman to cast her vote will not be given to her, and the second is that it’s possible that there will be serious fraud in the election by this method,” reported the Associated Press.

Kai Eide, the United Nations special envoy to Afghanistan, told Reuters that “Of course we are worried about the irregularities [in registration], but…there is still a possibility to correct much of this on polling day….We know that during the last election there was rather serious fraud at that level on polling day and immediately afterwards, and that is what the system we are trying to put in place now is intended to minimize.”


Associated Press 5/4/09; Reuters 5/3/09

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