IEC to print 1.3m sample ballot papers
KABUL (PAN): The Independent Election Commission (IEC) on Wednesday said it was printing 1.3 million sample ballot papers to help illiterate and remote area residents understand how to cast their votes.
IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor said the black and white papers would be distributed to people through appointed individuals for the purpose of creating awareness among registered voters about the elections and candidates.
“In the distribution process, illiterate people living in villages and remote parts out of media coverage will be given priority,” he said, hoping the move would help educate such individuals on the voting process.
Noor said IEC had appointed 1,600 individuals for the job across the country and they had practically launched their activities.
Meanwhile, Free and Fair Elections Foundation of Afghanistan head Jandad Spinghar said the sample ballot papers would help people know how the ballot had been designed and where names of candidates placed.
“People will understand prior to voting the design of ballot paper, photos of candidates and their election symbols so they avoid any mistake,” he said.
He said the sample papers should be distributed in remote parts, where tribal elders and prayers leaders should be involved in the process.
Spinghar said the election commission should continue the awareness programme until one week remained for the voting.
He said some presidential candidates were likely to renounce candidacies in favour of others after forging alliances, although their names had been published on the ballot papers.
The election commission was required to come up with measures to prevent voters from casting their ballots in favour of the dropped out candidates, he opined.
IEC says 90 percent of ballot papers and other election materials have arrived in Afghanistan from abroad.
The sample ballot papers are being distributed when more than two months are left for the April 5 presidential and provincial council elections.
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