Votes cast at all Balkh polling centres

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Votes were cast on Saturday in all polling centres across northern Balkh province, where the turnout was double in comparison with past elections, an official said on Sunday.
Independent Election Commission (IEC) chief in Mazar-i-Sharif, Izzatullah Arman, told Pajhwok Afghan News women made 45 percent of the voters taking part in yesterday’s elections.
He said six polling centres of the 319 sites had been declared as highly sensitive, but votes were cast there as well. The Taliban did create problems in some areas, but security forces had been quick to control the situation, the official said.
Arman said the elections had been peaceful throughout Balkh, except a few polling stations in Afghania Township area of Mazar-i-Sharif and in the Chahar Bolak district.
Up to 350,000 people had cast their votes in the previous elections and the number rose to 420,000 this time, he said, adding polling stations across Balkh had been delivered 435,000 ballot papers.
Ahmad Javed, a resident of Jar Kala village in the Chamtal district, told Pajhwok Afghan News the previous election was marred by a Taliban attack on the area polling centre.
He recalled some election officials were killed, injured and three were kidnapped during that attack. There had been no voting, he remembered.
Arman said tallying of votes had finished in Balkh and some complaints had also been registered, with efforts ongoing to shift election materials from polling centres to the commission’s warehouse.