FEFA’s Brief Report on the Second Phase of Voter Registration Process
The second phase of voter registration (VR) began on 5 November 2008 in 10 Provinces. Based on its action plan, FEFA managed to observe the voter registration process in all 10 provinces selected by the IEC for this phase (Kabul, Balkh, Baghlan, Jowzjan, Kunduz, Samangan, Herat, Badghis, Faryab and Paktia).The IEC opened 326 voter registration centers in these provinces, with 1928 stations. Prior to the deployment of the observer teams, 10 provincial master trainers received two days of extensive training at FEFA headquarters. After receiving training they were sent to their respective provinces where they conducted one day training for 298 observers. • FEFA has observed a high number of underage or under 17 year-olds registering during the second phase of voter registration. If this violation continues to happen in the third and fourth phases, it will cause a serious problem on the Election Day. Although underage people are not legally allowed to register and their participation is totally illegal, it could impact negatively upon the free will of the voters in the election. FEFA believes that if the IEC takes necessary action to prevent these violations from happening in the coming phases of the voter registration it could guarantee the free will of the people in the coming election. • Multiple registrations have been another sort of violation, and this type of violation constitutes the highest number of violations in this phase. If these sorts of violations are not prevented in the third and fourth phases it could undermine the transparency and fairness of the election. So, FEFA supports any sort of actions by IEC that will help prevent these violations from happening in the coming phases of voter registration. • Although the IEC has announced through media that it is looking into using a technology program to review the registration list and avoid the repeat of this violation, FEFA expects that the IEC should release more information about the above program to public and civil society organizations in order to answer their concerns. • Another violation that has been observed is employing male staff in female centers and specific actions needed to be taken to avoid it in the next phases. FEFA believes if this problem continues in the third and fourth phases it will have a negative impact on women’s participation as has been observed previously.
• FEFA’s observation has indicated that the security situation like other problems impacted on the level of people’s participation, especially women, and also affected the IEC work program. With current security threats existing in the provinces where the third and fourth phases will take place, security organizations need to take serious action to enable the IEC to run the process correctly and successfully and especially provide a secure environment for women to participate. • Two of the higher number violations occurring in the first and second phases of the VR process were that of people registering getting more than one card and registration of underage people. Also FEFA observers have observed specific and documentary 5 evidences. Issuing registration cards in dozens in some areas is committed by IEC staff. FEFA believes that if the perpetrators are handed to the proper and legal authorities and the violations are publicly released through the media, it will have a positive effect and could prevent similar violations in future phases. Finally FEFA encourages the IEC to take appropriate legal actions against the offenders including making the cases public to prevent such violations in the future.
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