Sunday, October 10, 2004

# Posted 10:55 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

AFGHANISTAN VOTES: During a pit stop on the way home from Washington, I saw this morning's top headline in the Post: Afghan Election Disputed. I thought to myself, "Typical. Just typical. And it was probably our fault, too."

When I got home, I saw the next headline up on the WaPo website: Afghan Election Concerns Subside. As of right now -- 10:55 PM on Sunday -- the abbreviated headline on the WaPo homepage reads: "Concerns Subside on Historic Afghan Election".

I guess the Post isn't all that worried about corruption anymore, otherwise it wouldn't make much sense to call the elections historic. For the moment, the evidence of election-tampering seems thin. Even the initial WaPo article on the subject contained nothing more than allegations by losing candidates.

Yet I have heard quite often that the number of registered voters in Afghanistan is greater than the number of eligible ones. So I guess the story isn't over yet.

But whatever the outcome, one story will remain: the massive turnout of Afghan voters. As is so often the case when a long-suffering nation is finally given the chance to vote, the public response has been overwhelming.

The people of Afghanistan have affirmed that even in those nations with no history of democratic rule, there is still a profound human desire to have a voice in the halls of government.

UPDATE: Robert and Glenn have both posted solid election round-ups.

UPDATE: AS writes in that:
The number of registered voters exceeded AN ESTIMATE of eligible voters. But, in reality, nobody has a clue how many eligible voters there are in Afghanistan. There hasn't been a census, there are no birth certificates or ID cards, there is LITERALLY NOTHING to inform us as to how many eligible voters there are. Moreover, millions of refugees have returned to the country -- but, again, nobody knows how many.

So, some people guessed at a number of eligible voters, and the number of registrations exceeded that guess.
Good point.
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