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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Iraqi Voter Registration

I thought the pro-war talking points were that the Iraqis were getting registered to participate in the January 30 election in droves. Then I read the Christian Science Monitor:

According to the memo, about 200,000 people made corrections and about 650,000 made new registrations. Divided into the total number of eligible voters - about 15 million - they come out to about 5.6 percent.

The numbers are approximate, and data from Anbar province is still missing. But the low numbers may mean that some people won't be able to vote if their food ration cards are inaccurate or outdated.

I would say that 5.6% is a big problem, as are the other things detailed in the CSM piece. The Iraq happy-talk blogger wrote an Opinion Journal article last week on the wonders of the election registration process, but he doesn't contradict the 5.6% statistic. That the Iraqi ambassador to the US is now writing op-eds about considering an election postponement is another serious warning signal.

Look, I'm anxious to get a real election over with so that a legit Iraqi government is in place and can start taking over so that our military engagement won't go on forever. However, an election that is seriously flawed could produce even more problems than it solves. This is looking not so good to me.