Damaging democracy? Security provision and turnout in Afghan elections

Data Type
Administrative Data
Event Data
Survey Data
Year Covered


The data is for the time period immediately around the 2010 Afghan parliamentary elections. It consists of data about Afghan security force levels at polling centers, event conflict data mapped to precincts, certified voter turnout data, and survey data on voters’ perceptions of the police and government before and after the election. 

The data comes from the paper "Damaging democracy? Security provision and turnout in Afghan elections" (Condra et al). The abstract of the paper is as follows: 

In emerging democracies, elections are encouraged as a route to democratization. However, not only does violence often threaten these elections, but citizens often view as corrupt the security forces deployed to combat violence. We examine the effects of such security provision. In Afghanistan's 2010 parliamentary election, polling centers with similar histories of pre‐election violence unintentionally received different deployments of the Afghan National Police, enabling identification of police's effects on turnout. Using data from the universe of polling sites and various household surveys, data usually unavailable in conflict settings, we estimate increases in police presence decreased voter turnout by an average of 30%. Our results adjudicate between competing theoretical mechanisms through which security forces could affect turnout, and show behavior is not driven by voter anticipation of election‐day violence. This highlights a pitfall for building government legitimacy via elections in weakly institutionalized and conflict‐affected states.

If you use this data please cite 

Condra, LN, Callen, M, Iyengar, RK, Long, JD, Shapiro, JN. Damaging democracy? Security provision and turnout in Afghan electionsEcon Polit. 2019; 31: 163– 193. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecpo.12128

Single Country
Repeated Measurement