When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

30 January 2005

Voting begins in Iraq

Under heavy security, and with news services reporting some scattered episodes of violence (mostly in Baghdad so far), the citizens of Iraq have begun voting for members of the transitional National Assembly, and for representatives to 18 provincial councils.

Blog sampling and snapshot, 8:45 AM Eastern time Sunday:

At Sun of Iraq, Alaa Smary (blogging again after going quiet for a while) writes:
Election Day
Today we vote, today is a democracy birthday.
The people lines are very long, We heard explosions voice but we vote.
I'm very happy today, long live Iraq, long live love and long live democracy.
I will post more images here.
A suicide explosion in Al-Mansor city, Al-Sader city and in New Baghdad city near election center , but the Iraqis still insistent to vote.
We will crush the terrorists.
The democracy will win.
Omar, at Iraq the Model, writes (in part):
I walked forward to my station, cast my vote and then headed to the box, where I wanted to stand as long as I could, then I moved to mark my finger with ink, I dipped it deep as if I was poking the eyes of all the world's tyrants.

I put the paper in the box and with it, there were tears that I couldn't hold; I was trembling with joy and I felt like I wanted to hug the box but the supervisor smiled at me and said "brother, would you please move ahead, the people are waiting for their turn".

Husayn, at Democracy in Iraq, reports:
It is early in the day, but I am confident of the turnout of the vote. The terrorists have not scared us. They made some attempts at disrupting things yesterday when they attacked an American buildling, and in attacking balloting areas, but it has not been effective. People are going to vote.
Faiza, writing at A Family in Baghdad, pours some cold water on the election euphoria:
Yes, of course I am for the elections, and for the participation and voting, but not in this way! Not in this shallow and superficial way!
At the same time, I am against violence and preventing people from going to elections.
The funny thing is that we face the same kind of question in post-war Iraq: are you against or for saddam? Are you against or for the elections?
No one asks: what do you think about what is happening?
You always find yourself in a narrow space put by the person asking you!
And this is funny, because the world is not just Yes and No
The BBC's "Iraqi Election Log" has some interesting comments this morning as well.

A recurring theme in Iraqi bloggers' posts today: digital photos of their ink-stained index fingers. (As you vote, you dip your finger in a pot of indelible ink as an anti-fraud measure; keeps people from voting multiple times.)

Per CNN, Iraqi elections officials are reporting a nationwide voter turnout of 72%, which (if the final number holds up as anything close to that) is truly extraordinary.

Fascinating, also, to see how the MSM is handling the reporting. Even Al-Reuters, which, earlier this morning had been focused like a laser-beam on the attempts of the terrorists and Baathist thugs insurgents to disrupt balloting with violence, has been forced to acknowledge the unprecedented voter turnout and the fact that many Iraqis are celebrating their ability to, at long last, have a voice in their own governance.

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