06 February, 2005

Iraqi Election Turnout

So, now that ballots are actually being counted, we can figure out the real "voter turnout" percentage. According to this UPI story, there are 3.3 million ballots counted so far, which is 53% of the total, meaning 6.2 million ballots. Jon Henke at QandO does a pretty good job breaking down what the actual eligible voting populace in Iraq ought to be.* He arrives at a figure of roughly 14 million. However, I think he underestimates the number of expatriates, making it more like 14.5 million eligible voters. This comes out to 42.7% voter turnout, an impressive number, given the circumstances. But I'd be willing to bet that this is highly non-uniform with respect to religious group, district, and so on. We'll know for sure on Thursday when full results are apparently due to come out.

*Note that estimates based on the number of oil-for-food ration cards, which is what was actually used for election registration, is considered to be a very unreliable figure, since many ration cards were fakes, obtained fraudulently via bribes.

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