Top candidates Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah stand nearly tied at 40 percent. But 90 percent of polling stations remain to be counted and a rising number of fraud complaints adjudicated.
The Afghan, who said tortured into falsely confessing that he attacked US troops, has spent nearly one third of his life in the detention center.
With President Hamid Karzai's rivals crying foul, the incumbent may win by solid margins but lose legitimacy – which could hamper counterinsurgency efforts.
About 11 percent fewer polling places opened than Afghanistan estimated it needed. Provinces expected to vote for President Hamid Karzai had the most problems. Could it tip the election?
Voting today will test the legitimacy of the government and the credibility of the international counterinsurgency strategy.
Reporters on the streets of Kabul faced beatings and arrests as the government warned that reports of violence could scare voters from the polls.
Their roles as canvassers, voters, even candidates in the Aug. 20 election highlight some of the gains – and remaining challenges – facing women as the country moves toward democracy.
Two rockets hit the presidential palace and police headquarters in Kabul on Tuesday, two days ahead of the presidential election. Hours later, a suicide car bomb killed at least 10 and wounded more than 53.
Attacks are up 50 percent during the past 10 days. Coalition forces have set up a 'tiered' security plan at polling places.