web counter Media Lies: Iraqis will vote

Sunday, January 02, 2005

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Iraqis will vote

The Washington Post has an article today that bodes well for the Iraqi election.
The number of Iraqis making sure they are properly registered to vote has surged dramatically, officials said Saturday, calling the rise evidence of enthusiasm for the Jan. 30 elections despite continuing security concerns that have blocked the process in two provinces.

After a slow start to the six-week registration process that began Nov. 1, the number of voters making corrections to official voter lists more than doubled in the final week, according to a final tally quoted by election officials Saturday.

Officials said more than 2.1 million people went to local election offices to assure that eligible members of their households could vote. About 1.2 million forms were submitted to add names to the voter lists, an involved process that requires providing proof of identification and residence.

"That's a definite marker of voter interest," said an expert with the Independent Election Commission of Iraq who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Because Iraqis do not have to take any steps to register to vote -- food rationing accounts serve as voter rolls -- requests for corrections are essentially the only gauge of voter involvement in the registration process for the Jan. 30 election.

"This is a very good indicator," said Hussein Hindawi, who heads the election office. "We are very optimistic."
The drumbeat of pessimism about the elections seems not to have affected the Iraqis themselves. The one concern is the amount of Sunni participation given the persistent violence in those areas.

My personal opinion is that the Sunnis have a choice. They can vote for more violence by not voting. Or they can resoundly rebuke the Ba'athists and terrorists by voting in the election. The choice is theirs and their future will be decided by that choice.