Kabul, Nov 2,2013 ( - A civil society organization named Sazman-e-Khat-e-Naw, or The New Line, organized a massive voter-registration drive for 800 Kabul youth. "Today we see the youth care about policy and participation in the elections," said Fahim Sediqqi, head of Sazman-e-Khat-e-Naw. The role of Afghan youth in the upcoming elections has been a hot topic, with many hoping for a high turnout from the generation that is considered the most invested in the changes to Afghanistan over the past twelve years


But regardless of motivations, the sheer fact that 60 percent of the population is under the age of 20 means youth will likely play an influential role in April.

As part of the most educated and connected generation in Afghan history, youth organizations like Sazman-e-Khat-e-Naw and others have rallied hope for the future. For many of them it will be their first time voting, as the legal voting age is 18, but to them the 2014 vote is more important than any in the past.

"Afghanistan will be a country after the war," said Ramiz Bakhtyar, a member of Sazman-e-Khat-e-Naw. "We need the will of the people and the people's views for progress in our society." 

Sazman-e-Khat-e-Naw leaders said the upcoming elections were in part so critical because they had the chance to institutionalize democracy in Afghanistan. The spring vote will mark the first electoral season since the fall of the Taliban regime entirely managed by Afghans. 

As coalition forces scale back their presence in the lead up to the end of the NATO combat mission in December of 2014, and the broader foreign presence in Afghanistan diminishes, many are already looking beyond April and considering what the country will look like after twelve years of war. 
So for civil society groups like Sazman-e-Khat-e-Naw the elections are the central focus and the crucible of much more than just who will be in the Presidential Palace next year