This is an eyewitness report from the NowPublic member MilanSturgis who was on the scene.
Afghanistan's Election Day Morning
REPORTING FROM KABUL
After months of wrangling and fighting, after an attempt last winter of trying to call snap elections in April and after a summer of vigorous campaigning- it’s here. Early this morning there were a series of five explosions I heard from my house near ISAF HQ and the US Embassy but aside from that an uneasy calm has settled over Kabul. In some polling stations around the city there are as many journalists as there are voters as they all jostle to obtain that perfect photo of an Afghan defying the threats of the Taliban as they hold up their ink stained finger. Voter turnout was steady though not crowed earlier this morning in the several polls near me. Kabul has hardly ever been used as a barometer for the rest of Afghanistan but it has been one of the safest areas in the country until this last week, and if people are reluctant to come out here it does not bode well for the more dangerous areas of the country. Many Afghans I spoke to yesterday told me they were not going to vote today and some even admitted they never registered to vote last year. Clearly there has been some success in the Taliban’s campaign of fear over the last six months to dissuade Afghans from voting without fear of retribution. A terror campaign does just that, it plants a seed and through time allows it to germinate into enough uncertainty that people are hesitate to act. Hopefully the Afghan nation will dismiss these threats and come out to vote today-with just hours to go before the polls close time will tell. We in the West, however, have no idea the pressure that these people are under as our only dilemma on election day is to vote before or after work. More to follow today.
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Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada