The Taliban claimed responsibility for Saturday's deadly crash of a US military helicopter, and many Afghans say they doubt NATO's ability to turn back what appears to be fresh momentum for the Taliban.
As Afghans voted Saturday, a reporter in Wardak Province spoke to an election worker about how his team had set out to stuff ballot boxes. The widescale fraud in Wardak may speak to troubles in the broader Afghanistan vote.
In Wardak Province, the counterinsurgency model has been difficult to implement, though US forces have already seen some success in the first phase of the effort.
As forces of the 10th Mountain Division have poured into Wardak Province to combat the Taliban, they've also had to battle a cool reception.
With echoes of the Anbar Awakening in Iraq, the US is arming, training, and paying Afghans to set up village militias.
Some 3,000 US troops recently deployed to insurgent-heavy provinces near Kabul.
Insecurity and charges of fraud could hamper election officials' ability to ensure popular acceptance of next year's presidential poll results.