Ballot paper shortages hit several provinces
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some polling stations in Bamyan, Jawzjan, Kandahar, Kabul and Badakhshan provinces ran out of ballot papers, creating concerns among voters.
Koh Mard district chief in Badakhshan, Hadi Saighani, told Pajhwok Afghan News that four polling stations in the town lacked ballot papers. He hopped more ballot papers would reach the polling stations soon.
Bamyan Independent Election Commission (IEC) chief Aziz Ahmad Rassouli said they would soon transfer more ballot papers to the polling stations.
A women’s polling station in Karta-i-Sulh area of Bamyan province also experienced a shortage of ballot papers but the commission delivered reserved papers to the area.
Another election observer, Sultan Reza, said ballot papers finished at five polling sites in Bamyan City, the capital of Bamyan, and one in Waris district. He asked the IEC to transfer more ballot papers to the polling stations.
But the governor’s spokesman, Abdur Rahman, said transferring ballot papers to Waris district through the land was impossible because of the time factor.
Separately, many polling stations in the Misrabad area of Shiberghan, the capital of Jawzjan province, also ran out of ballot papers.
A voter in Misrabad area, Mohammad Ismail, said: “I have been waiting for hours to cast my vote, but ballot papers finished when I reached my turn.”
If additional ballot papers were not delivered soon to the polling stations, many people would be deprived of their voting right, he warned.
But the provincial IEC chief, Mohammad Aman Faryabi, promised more ballot papers would be delivered soon to the sites.
Similarly, ballot papers exhausted at a polling station in southern Kandahar City hours after the voting process began here at 7am on Saturday.
Tens of residents of the second municipality district said they were kept waiting at the Zarghona Ana High School. Election workers said they had run out of ballot papers.
Ahmadullah, a voter, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “I have been waiting for half an hour in the hot weather, but they said ballot papers are finished.
“If they don’t bring ballot papers soon, we will return home,” another voter said, as a number of people started returning. Election officials said they had reported the issue to the provincial headquarters.
A numbers of polling sites in Faizabad, the capital of Badakhshan and three districts also encountered a shortage of ballot papers.
Maulvi Khudam, an observer at Saif Shahid High School polling station on the outskirts of Faizabad, said the site faced a shortage of ballot papers around 9:30am, but IEC officers addressed the issue.
Regional IEC chief Mohammad Rassoul Omar said three polling sites in Kasham, Tishkan and Yaftal district faced a similar problem but the authorities moved swiftly to resolve it.
In Kabul, a Pajhwok Afghan News reporter said ballot papers were exhausted at several sites two hours after the voting process began at 7am.
An observer for the presidential candidate, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, said ballot papers finished around 9:30am at the Qabil Bai High School in the ninth police district of Kabul.
He added the school housed one female and three male polling stations, where men and women waited till 12pm.
According to another report, some polling sites in Khost province also faced a shortage of ballot papers. In Khost, 186 centers and 697 polling stations opened.
A provincial council candidate, Abdul Wali Wahid, claimed ballot papers were exhausted in all polling stations in the afternoon.
A resident of Khost City, Abdullah, said he was deprived of voting due to lack of ballot papers at the polling station in Ghazi Khan Babrak Park.
Provincial IEC chief, Mohammad Shafiq, confirmed the problem but said some of the sites were still open in Khost City.
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