As Afghan polls open on Saturday morning, potential voters face a difficult question about whether to participate or not. Corruption has made Afghan votes sketchy in the best of times, and threats of violence by the Taliban and ISIS make it dangerous to even be out in public on election day.
Given how little impact the results of parliamentary votes in the past, Afghan officials fear that turnout will be particularly low. That, and the fact that Kandahar and much of Ghazni won’t be opening the poll at all, add to concerns that this won’t be a particularly credible election.
This is doubly true because the parliamentary election was supposed to happen in 2015, and just kept getting delayed. Past Afghan votes saw massive amounts of fraud, so even voting is no guarantee the vote will ever be counted.
Afghan officials say more people are registered to vote this time than in the past votes, but that’s no guarantee that they will show up at the polls. Nine candidates have already been killed in attacks on rallies, and attacks are expected against polling locations.