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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Afghanistan does democracy American style

The very first elections have been held in Afghanistan this past weekend, and while there was no violence there has been controversy.

To make sure citizens didn’t vote more than once officials at polling stations stained each voters thumb with a marker pen. The ink was supposed to last for up to fifteen days, however it is believed normal markers were mixed up with the long lasting variety. Instead of lasting for weeks many voters found that the ink washed off within seconds. It is unclear how many people took advantage of the ink mistake and voted more than once.

We managed to speak to one woman who admitted to voting more than once. The woman, dressed in a blue hijab, said she had voted seventeen times. “This is the first time we’ve ever got to vote. I thought I’d make up for all the years we’ve missed out on.” She said nobody at the polling station had suspected anything. When we contacted the officials at the polling station they said they didn’t think anyone had cheated the system. He said they had seen an unusual amount of women in blue hijabs, but a female colleague interrupted, saying they were in fashion at the moment.

When the story first broke most of the candidates running against Hamid Karzai said they would boycott the election results, casting a shadow over the historic elections. But it now seems likely that the majority will accept the results.

In a shock announcement, officials running the election said the ink situation was not a mistake, but had in fact been planned. “The Americans saved our country from the Taleban, they brought democracy to this country,” explained a spokesman. “When it came to holding elections we had no idea what to do, so the Americans helped us out. I believe they came all the way from Florida to do this. The people from Florida know how to hold great elections. I believe it was their idea for the ink. I’m not sure why they would want to do that, but they know what they are doing, so we didn’t complain.”

Photos of a man suspected of voting more than once have surfaced on an Islamic website. The website claims the man wore a different disguise every time he voted. But another website claims the photos are of different people. The photos are included below so you can decide for yourself.

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