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Cablegate: Iec Shows Voter Registration Process to the Press

VZCZCXRO4424
PP RUEHPW
DE RUEHBUL #2221 2330439
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 200439Z AUG 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5181
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS KABUL 002221

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/FO, SCA/A, S/CRS
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR JWOOD
OSD FOR SHIVERS
CG CJTF-82, POLAD, JICCENT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PGOV AF
SUBJECT: IEC SHOWS VOTER REGISTRATION PROCESS TO THE PRESS

1. (SBU) The Independent Elections Commission (IEC) on
August 16 hosted a press conference on its plans for voter
registration. Independent Ariana TV provided the most
substantial coverage, including footage of the IEC's
demonstration of "average" Afghans registering to vote. RTA
television station also broadcast the event.

2. (SBU) The IEC's Chief Technical Officer Dr. Najafi used
his remarks to delineate the role of the IEC, as well as to
provide detailed information on the phases and process of
voter registration. Najafi noted that the IEC has a mandate
to make technical decisions on elections, but not political
decisions.

3. (SBU) The demonstration of registration was smooth and
the IEC's video of it likely will prove an effective voter
outreach tool. Five IEC staff played the roles of
registration center workers, three were political observers,
and seven were model voters. The process is in two steps.
One center worker questions the voter to establish eligbility
to register, then takes the photos. Next, a second worker
questions the voter to gather information to complete the
registration form, then prepares the laminated card
containing the photo and a fingerprint. The center's director
handles voters who lack proof of identity or present other
difficulties. The first "voter" received his registration
card in 13 minutes, including the time required to print the
photos.
WOOD

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