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Afghan Plan for a Fraud-Free Election Runoff: Increase Potential Sources of Fraud!

Tell me if this makes sense to you. During the Aug. 20 Afghan presidential election, thousands of polling stations either didn’t open to the public or didn’t host election monitors, which allowed election fraud to become so widespread that a full one-third of the votes for incumbent president Hamid Karzai were ultimately invalidated. Conflict over dealing with the so-called “ghost” polling centers ravaged the U.N. mission to Afghanistan, resulting in the firing of its American deputy leader, Peter Galbraith.

But OK, so that’s all over with, and a runoff vote is scheduled for next week. So how does the Afghanistan election commission plan to ensure the runoff between Karzai and rival Abdullah Abdullah is fraud-free?

Despite having fewer poll workers and a declining security situation, Afghanistan’s election commission announced Thursday it would increase the number of polling centers for the presidential runoff.

No wonder Abdullah views the commission as being a fixing agent for Karzai. In its defense, a commission spokesman tells the Christian Science Monitor:

[T]he number of districts without any polling centers will rise from eight to 11, out of a total 380. And the number of poll workers at each station will drop from five to two. Workers will have much less work to do, says Noor, since there will be no provincial council elections to also administer and the number of candidates on the presidential ballot has shrunk from dozens to two.

Reassured?

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