Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Iraq Elections: Deja Vu?

It was with a sense of deja vu that I read today about the problems with the election in Iraq:
In northern Iraq, protests have repeatedly broken out over the last few days in several cities where officials claim that hundreds of thousands of citizens, many of them Kurdish Christians, were not able to vote because balloting materials arrived inexplicably late.

The article continued:
There are also claims that election workers bent the rules to allow unregistered citizens to cast ballots, and one charge that a political party was improperly left off the ballots.

Some of the complaints involve access to the basic tools of voting. "Quite a significant number of Christians in the Mosul area were denied ballot boxes and ballots," Barham Salih, the Iraqi deputy prime minister and a Kurd, said in an interview late Tuesday.

Or how about this complaint:
At the same school, a man and his wife were turned away after, they said, having walked five miles to vote. They were refused because their names did not turn up on voter lists, an example of sticking to the letter of the law, Abdul Rahman, the coordinator of the polling place, said Sunday.

Does all of this sound familiar or what? Is this more like Ohio in 2004 or Florida in 2000? What about the felon lists? Or the long lines for inadequate machines in Ohio?

As reported:
Tales of waiting more than five hours to vote, voter intimidation, under-trained polling-station workers and too few or broken voting machines largely in urban or heavily minority areas were retold Saturday at a public hearing organized by voter-rights groups.

Senator Kerry, the irregular election problem is no longer our problem. It is now the world's problem. Please leave the door open for 2008! I am one of the 55 million who would like to walk through that door with you to the White House!



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