As the controversy over stamping of copies of ID cards by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) gathers fresh momentum, people in several provinces across Afghanistan have also voiced concerns over the issue.
People say that stamps on copies of ID cards will pave the way for election fraud and vote rigging.
A number of people have in turn called on the Afghan government to find an alternative to the move and one which is acceptable to all.
This comes as the IEC prepares to launch the second phase of the voter registration process in the provinces.
Bi Bi Kubra, 90, is an Afghan woman who is committed to voting in the elections despite her age.
“I will vote,” said Kubra.
“The move to stamp the ID copies will increase election fraud,” said a Kabul resident, Mahbubullah.
“These stamps on our ID cards do not have any benefit except to create problems,” said a resident of Balkh Ekram.
“This will enable people to vote several times,” said a Balkh resident, Mohammad Salim.
“The government needs to find a logical way for this which could help the transparency of elections,” a resident of Balkh Abdul Hamid said.
People in the east were also concerned about the issue.
Sangar a resident of Nangarhar said: “This is not the right decision and will increase fraud in the elections.”
“Stickers on the original ID would have been better,” said a Jalalabad resident, Habibullah.
The IEC is meanwhile expected to launch the second phase of the voter registration process in the provinces soon. The IEC said that employees have been trained and that the voter registration documents had also arrived in all provinces for this purpose.
“Ninety three centers will open in the districts. We have trained our employees in the districts regarding this, the process will continue there for two weeks,” said Awalurrahman Rodwal, head of Kabul voter registration centers.
This comes a day after Shahla Haq, acting secretariat of (IEC), resigned from her post over the issue of stamping copies of ID cards.
In her resignation letter to the IEC, Haq said the IEC chief’s decision to stamp copies of IDs of people who have registered to vote will pave the way for election fraud.
Haq also said in her resignation letter that the plan is technically challenging, and the decision is not practical. She said as such she does not want to carry on in her position as she feels electoral fraud will damage the credibility of the elections.
Shahla Haq has worked for the IEC for more than a decade.
The issue of stamping copies of voter ID cards was first announced by the Presidential Palace last Thursday and then published on the election commission’s website.