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December 15, 2005

Iraq Extends Voting After High Turnout

Democratic congressman filed suit enjoining the polls to remain open in St. Louis On the Euphrates.

Iraqis voted in a historic parliamentary election Thursday, with strong turnout reported in Sunni Arab areas and even a shortage of ballots in some precincts. Because of the large turnout, the Iraqi election commission met in emergency session and extended voting for one hour after long lines were reported at some sites, said commission official Munthur Abdelamir. Heavy participation by Sunni Arabs, who had shunned balloting last January, bolstered U.S. hopes of calming the insurgency enough to begin withdrawing its troops next year.

Some preliminary returns were expected late Thursday, but final returns could take days, if not weeks.

Meanwhile, several explosions rocked Baghdad throughout the day, but overall the level of violence was low.


Video Replay: "Anyone who does not support what America has done and George Bush can go to hell..."

Iraq the Model Live-Blogs: Sounds like everything's going pretty well:

he deployment of Iraqi security forces on the streets was heavy with a noticeable absence of American forces except for their presence in the skies; there are many Apache helicopters and jet fighters as well as small surveillance planes al over Baghdad.

The number of voting officials, independent observers and political bodies’ representatives is higher than what we saw in January.

From what we saw, people feel safer walking to the voting centers this time; many of them were carrying Iraqi flags.

Unwinnable.

More, From the FoxNews piece:

An imam in Ramadi was heard over a mosque loudspeaker saying: "God will bless you with a great life if you go out and vote. This is your last chance to vote."

A glitch that's bad, but also sort of good:

The big turnout in Fallujah also caused problems, with voters, election officials and the mayor complaining of a shortage of ballot boxes and ballots.

Mayor Dhari Youssef al-Arsan, who put turnout at about 45 percent, said 11 out of 35 polling stations did not get ballot boxes and some ran out of ballots in the early hours of voting.

"Three sites stopped because they ran out of ballots," he said. "We had an administrative problem opening polling sites in some of the centers."

It's bad if this makes Sunnis feel they were deliberately screwed, of course. I don't know if they were able to correct this problem in time to get those peoples' votes.

On the other hand, it's good that turnout was so high in Fallujah, of all places.

Thanks to Dughee for pointing that out.


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posted by Ace at 10:01 AM

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