4 million voters turned out to Afghanistan's parliamentary elections despite deadly attacks, defiantly saying 'We won't let the Taliban win'

Afghan voters defied scores of threats, violence, and technical issues to vote in Afghanistan’s parliamentary election over the weekend.

More than 4 million people cast their votes on more than 2,500 candidates nationwide for 250 legislative seats. With an estimated 8.8 million registered voters, that’s a turnout of 45%.

A record 418 women were candidates in the tense election, which is being held more than three years late and amid threats of attack from the Taliban and the Islamic State group.

See how voters turned out despite the election’s conditions:

Afghan officials announced the end of parliamentary elections Monday, after at least 36 people were killed in nearly 200 attacks on the first day of polling, according to Deputy Interior Minister Akhtar Mohammed Ibrahimi.

Source: Associated Press

The Taliban had vowed to attack the election before a suicide bomber blew himself up in the first attack Saturday in front of a polling station in a Kabul school, killing at least 15 people.

Source: BBC

Widespread violence did not deter scores of voters for turning out after a 3-year delay, with many telling the BBC they were emboldened by threats of attack, vowing: “We won’t let the Taliban win.”

Source: BBC

Election officials extended some polling sites to Sunday after technical and personnel issues.

Source: BBC

Independent Elections Commission employees administered paper ballots to ensure a simpler process and reliable results from millions of voters, though the sheets sometimes ran several pages to accommodate the scores of candidates.

Source: CNN

As a final identification measure, each voter dips their finger in ink after casting a ballot. Beyond verification, the electoral stain makes for an iconic image.

Though it was under the same guidelines as any other Afghanistan election, this year’s record-setting election includes more than 2,500 candidates, 418 of whom are women, aiming for 250 seats.

Source: BBC

Despite the 2009 passage of repressive Shi’a Family Law policy, Afghan women previously set record voter and candidate rates in the 2014 elections.

Source: Central Asia Institute

Women set new records of engagement again in 2018 in similarly harsh conditions. Ten candidates were killed during their campaigns for the vote.

Source: Washington Post

Election officials announced the election’s end Monday after they said around 4 million people cast their votes at some 4576 polling centres, out of 8.8 million registered voters.

Source: The Associated Press, BBC

Afghan leadership hailed the high voter engagement as a victory over the attackers that had targeted the elections.

Source: The Associated Press

President Ashraf Ghani said in a speech aired on state television Monday voters had shown “they would not surrender to any threats or warnings,” and “they also have the power and will to defeat their enemies.”

Source: The Associated Press

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