Afghan Officials Find 'Missing' Votes

As hundreds march to protest election results
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2010 9:02 AM CST
Former legislators and their supporters protest against the September's parliamentary poll in front of the US embassy in Kabul, Nov 7, 2010.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
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(Newser) – Well this doesn’t look suspicious at all. Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission discovered tens of thousands of uncounted ballots yesterday, even as 200 people marched through Kabul protesting the results of the September contest. “We checked our warehouses and found those,” a commission official tells the Washington Post. The ballots will be counted, but the commission doesn’t expect them to change the outcome of the election. “However, there may be changes in one or two provinces.”

But there could be changes by the time the commission finishes investigating all 76 voting centers at which irregularities were reported. The commission has already invalidated 1.3 million of the more than 5 million votes cast in the election, and announced criminal investigations against elected officials in nine cases of alleged vote rigging. The widely criticized election has sparked three protests in Afghanistan this week. Yesterday’s was led by losing candidates, who argued that not enough Pashtuns were elected due to the closure of some 1,000 polling stations in the south and east over security concerns.

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