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Democracy’s Burden: Afghans Haul Ballots Into Remote Areas

An Afghan boy carries election material on his back to polling stations which are not accessible by road in Shutul, Panjshir province, on April 4. AHMAD MASOOD / Reuters

An Afghan boy, above, carries election material on his back to polling stations which are not accessible by road in Shutul, Panjshir province, on Friday, a day before the country embarks on its first democratic transition of power. Afghans will choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai, who has ruled the country since 2001 and is constitutionally barred from running again.

A successful election would prove to be a huge propaganda loss for the Taliban, which was toppled after it sheltered Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

Image: AFGHNANISTAN-ELECTION
An Afghan villager carries election materials over his shoulders as he hikes back to his village along a country road high in the mountains of Shutul District in northern Afghanistan on April 4, 2014. SHAH MARAI / AFP - Getty Images