Data transfer delays from biometric voting devices could push back Afghanistan results announcement
The slow transfer of data from biometric devices to a central server due to lack of internet access is raising the possibility that preliminary results in Afghanistan’s recent presidential elections will not be announced as planned on October 19, according to TOLOnews.
Independent Election Commission (IEC) member Maulana Mohammad Abdullah tweeted that at the current pace, the announcement will be delayed. Preliminary data from 22,400 of the Dermalog-supplied devices, and final results from 14,000 have been transferred to the IEC’s main server, Abdullah says. A total of 26,568 biometric devices were used in the election, according to the report.
IEC Secretariat Head Habib-Ur-Rahman Nang said internet access is presenting the main challenge to transferring the data.
“It is not a difficult task, in fact it is easy now. More than 26,000 biometric devices arrived at the commission on Oct. 5. We have received the devices only three days ago,” Nang notes.
A TOLOnews reporter observed on a visit to the IEC that data entry from each device takes more than an hour.
IEC Head Hawa Alam Nuristani reiterated the agency’s commitment to the deadline. “You know that this is a technical task,” she comments. “Sometimes it is fast and sometimes it is slow, but we are committed to announcing the results based on the timeline.”
People in Afghanistan are hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2014 election, the results of which were disputed, necessitating power-sharing negotiations mediated by then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.