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GUEST,guest from NW BS: Iraq Vote Turnout (10) RE: BS: Iraq Vote Turnout 02 Feb 05

:here is some interesting number crunching i found...

"The widely-publicized estimates a few hours ago from Iraq election officials of 72% turnout has already been cut to about 57% from the same officials. Dexter Filkins of The New York Times reported at midday:
"The chairman of the Independent Election Commission of Iraq, Fareed Ayar, said as many as 8 million people turned out to vote, or between 55 percent and 60 percent of those registered to cast ballots. If 8 million turns out to be the final figure, that would represent 57 percent of voters."
The question remains: what percentage of the population chose to register? What percentage of adult citizens participated? Iraq has a population of at least 25 million, plus expatriates were allowed to vote overseas. (emphasis added, "Iraq, the Vote: The Press Sizes Up the Election," Editor & Publisher, January 30, 2005)
All good questions. I'd also ask where the Independent [sic] Election Commission of Iraq got the figure of 8 million voters.
The answer is that's exactly the same number the commission predicted before the elections:

A senior election official estimates that half of Iraq's 15 million eligible voters ["[t]here are 14 million eligible voters inside Iraq . . . plus 1.2 million abroad allowed to vote in 14 countries including the United States, Britain, Iran and Syria"] will take part in this month's national election and says that to encourage a high turnout, those living in insurgency-racked areas will be allowed to vote in safer communities.
Farid Ayar of Iraq's Independent Electoral Commission said he expected 7 to 8 million Iraqis to vote on Jan. 30 in a ballot seen as a major step toward fulfilling U.S. goals of building democracy here after decades of Saddam Hussein's tyranny. (emphasis added, Hamza Hendawi/Associated Press, "Half of Iraq Population Estimated to Vote," January 14, 2005)
What precision! A sign that elections in Iraq have been raised to the level of science, far superior to the 4-billion-dollar election industry in the United States that showed disturbing discrepancies between exit polls and vote tallies? Not! A safer hypothesis is that it's a sign of how scripted Iraqi elections were. If Washington needs about 8 million Iraqi voters to achieve a "respectable" turnout of half the eligible voters (Hendawi, January 14, 2005), the Independent [sic] Election Commission of Iraq has to give that number to Washington before and after the elections. After all, "demonstration elections" are theater -- for the American, rather than Iraqi, audience."

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