Some Polling Stations for Women Non-operational, Citizens Ask for Extension of Polling Hours

A number of Kandahar citizens say that the some of the female polling stations have declined operations due to technical problems with biometric devices and two polling stations have been merged.
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Women’s rights activist in Kandahar, Anahita Rahimi, told reporterly that women have unprecedentedly participated in the election today, but their concern is that due to the delayed opening of a number of polling stations as well as reduction of polling stations, a number of eligible voters will not have the opportunity to vote.
” The center that I participated in, there was a long queue of women waiting their turn to vote which was really unpredictable. But due to biometric technical problems, two polling stations were merged into one, because of which, in my opinion, a lot of women would be deprived of voting unless the polling hours are extended”, she stated.

She added that the use of time-consuming biometric system is another challenge, in which the polling process for each voter will take more than four minutes.
Meanwhile, Lalay Dastgiri, a member of the Kandahar Provincial Council, told Reporterly that people have a huge turnout to the polls, which is why more time is needed for all of them to exercise their right to vote.
“Our demand from the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan is to extend the polling time in this province so that everyone can vote,” Mr. Dastgiri added.
The Afghanistan Independent Election Commission (IEC) also said on Saturday morning that if the voters stay, the voting process will continue until 6 pm in Kandahar province.

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