Secretary Clinton's Statement on Iraqi National Elections | Joint Statement By Ambassador Hill and General Odierno on Iraq's ElectionAbout the Author: Mike Lavallee, an Embassy Baghdad observer for Iraq's March 7 national elections, provides an update from southern Iraq's Dhi Qar province. The embassy has fielded 26 four-person teams nationwide to observe the vote.
We started out about 7:30 a.m. and just completed visiting our fourth polling site. All four were in Sukashyuk, a town about 20 kilometers east of Nasiriyah or about 40 minutes from the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT). There have been no signs of fraud on any level. There have been a number of names not found on lists but overall a minimal problem. One woman in her seventies said her name could not be found but was determined to vote, so she walked to two other sites until she finally found her name. She proudly displayed her inked finger for us to see.
Polling sites had an average of seven stations at each site. The last one we visited also had three stations designated for internally displaced persons. The general mood is enthusiastic. People from their twenties to eighties are out voting and many are bringing their whole families along and dressed in Sunday best. Parents with kids are beaming with smiles as the children follow their lead dipping their fingers in the ink.