Voting Scandal

Afghan Ballots Ruled Invalid

For the first time, Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission has deemed ballots from last month's presidential election invalid after finding "clear and convincing evidence of fraud" in three regions that strongly supported President Hamid Karzai. The country's presidential election was criticized for falsified ballots, intimidation tactics, and other forms of deception. The ECC quarantined results from 600 stations this week in Paktika, Kandahar, and Ghazni, where they suspected wrongdoing. Though Karzai passed the 50-percent mark (meaning he would not need to face a second round of voting), the commission has the authority to demand a recount or remove any candidate from the election. The ECC reportedly found unfolded ballots, uniformity of markings, lists of voters with fabricated card numbers, and other "indicators of fraud." Some reporters suggest it could take months to sort out the results of the election.