About the Author: Rachel Cooke serves as a Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Embassy Kabul’s Election Team – a group of political officers who are assisting Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission on issues such as election security, voter registration and training for voting officials – joined forces with the embassy’s Public Diplomacy Section on June 18 to host a web chat about the upcoming presidential and provincial council elections in Afghanistan.
The Political Section’s Lyra Carr and Robert Gerber spent over an hour answering a phenomenal 76 questions, and there were more that we simply couldn’t get to. Over 100 people participated in the web chat. Many of the participates joined the chat from seven Lincoln Centers, small American libraries and cultural centers that provide English language and computer skills classes at no cost to the general public. The Lincoln Centers also host seminars, workshops and fun activities that help their patrons better understand the United States.
The discussion questions touched on topics such as security during and after the elections, the role of the United States, presidential candidates, and ways to ensure that the elections are free, fair and transparent. This is the second web chat on elections to have taken place, with at least one more likely prior to the August 20 election day.