"Experts" and the old media....
....predicted a low turnout among Iraqi expats around the world. They were wrong about the registered voters.
About 93 percent of the 280,000 Iraqi voters registered abroad cast absentee ballots in the country's election, the agency that organized the vote said Monday."Experts" continue to underestimate the Iraqis. Why is that?
The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration said that 265,148 Iraqi expatriate voters went to the special polls over three days in 14 countries.
While participation of the registered voters was unusually high, those who registered in a special nine-day campaign that ended Jan. 25 represented only 23 percent of the estimated 1.2 million Iraqi expatriates eligible to vote.
The low registration figure was attributed partly to fears of violence and retribution from insurgents but also the fact that not all countries with large numbers of Iraqis, including Egypt, participated and many voters had to travel abroad to register and then again to vote.
"I have worked on many post-conflict out-of-country elections, but this is honestly the first time I have seen this level of emotion and excitement among voters," said Peter Erben, who directed the project for IOM. Most recently he worked on the Afghanistan election.