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IEC Rules out More Voter Registration Centers

IEC Rules out More Voter Registration Centers

KABUL -Residents of different provinces demand opening of more voter registration centres, but election officials say they cannot positively respond to such calls due to paucity of funds. In the build-up to presidential and provincial council polls in April 2014, voter registration centres were set up on May 24 in the capitals of all the 34 provinces and the second phase started in July at district level.

A total of 440 voter registration centres for males and females were to be opened in the second round, but the number has been reduced to 387. During the voter registration period, four million people are expected to be issued with voter cards.

But a number of countrymen complain they cannot receive voter cards as registration centres are located too far from their homes. “This centre is 30 kilometres from home. Even men, what to talk of women, find it difficult to reach the site,” said Haji Zazai, a resident of the Chinar village in Khak-i-Jabbar district.

Haji Mohammad Saleh Safar, hailing from the Garmser district of southern Helmand province, said the registration centre was 70 kilometres from his house. He urged the authorities to set up mobile centres to ensure all eligible voters received cards.

“We are ready to provide volunteers, but voter cards must be issued to eligible people. Dealing with the Taliban is our responsibility and Garmser security is comparatively good,” he added. Ali Madad, a grower from the Sher Qul village of central Bamyan province, carped the voter registration centre was located at a distance of 80 kilometres from his residence.

“My spouse and daughter are yet to get voter cards. I will have to abandon work on farms for a couple of days and spend 2,000 afs on transport fares to get them cards,” he argued. On the other hand, Independent Election Commission (IEC) spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor said the panel had opened registration centres in all provincial capitals and district centres across the country.

He said the card distribution process would continue for another eight months and people could collect their voter cards anytime they wanted to. “They can do so if they visit provincial capitals or district centres.” (PAN)

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