BAGHDAD — Preliminary numbers from the Independent Electoral Commission in Iraq, based on an audit of 20 percent of ballot boxes from last Saturday’s constitutional referendum show massive “yes” votes in most provinces. But the most closely watched one, Ninevah, is rapidly turning into the Ohio of Iraq.
*Still to come:*
_Ninevah_, Anbar, Babil, Basra and Erbil.
In a statement, the IECI said, “These results are not a demographically significant sample of all polling stations so they cannot be used to predict the final outcome of the Referendum.” Babil, Basra, Erbil and Ninevah are currently undergoing field audits, while Anbar votes are still being input into the system, the statement said. No one expects Anbar to vote for the referendum, and Babil, Basra and Erbil are expected to vote “yes” in high percentages. That leaves Ninevah and Mosul as the swing votes that will decide this election, as it takes a two-thirds “no” vote in three provinces to veto the constitution.
“I wrote about the voting hanky-panky going on in Ninevah on Monday”:http://www.back-to-iraq.com/archives/2005/10/curious_numbers.php, and it seems like the IECI is taking it seriously. I don’t know how it will go, but I sure hope that they can show the vote was fair.