The OTB Guide to the Iraqi Elections
For some reason, I’ve seen very little general information about Sunday’s vote in the press, so I took the time to compile a few numbers. It’s always good to have a firm grasp of the basics; if nothing else, it helps in identifying political spin. Hopefully, this post can provide a bit of context.
- More than 14 million Iraqis and over 280,000 expatriates are registered to vote.
- Approximately 6,000 voting centers span Iraq.
- Expatriates cast their ballots in 14 different countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Jordan, Netherlands, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kindom, and United States.
- There are 256 political entities recognized to participate: 27 individuals, 33 coalitions of parties, and 196 parties.
- There are 18,900 candidates competing in 20 different elections: the national election, the Kurdistan election, and 18 provincial elections.
- There are 60 million individual ballot sheets and 90,000 ballot boxes in Iraq.
- More than 200,000 Iraqis have signed up as poll workers or monitors.
- About 200 Iraqis will “put together the final tally of the [voting] results” in Baghdad headquarters.
- Forty UN electoral assistance officers will provide technical support.
- About 65% of Iraqis are “very likely” to vote; 17% are “somewhat likely.”
- In Baghdad, 58% are “very likely”; 17% are “somewhat likely.”
- In Kurdish areas, 74% are “very likely”; 18% are “somewhat likely.”
- In Sunni areas, 21% are “very likely”; 32% are “somewhat likely.”
- Among Shiites, 77% are “very likely”; 14% are “somewhat likely.”
- Among Kurds, 71% are “very likely”; 19% are “somewhat likely.”
- Among Sunnis, 20% are “very likely”; 29% are somewhat likely”; and 29% are “very unlikely.”
Take these International Republican Institute poll data with a grain of salt. According to the Christian Science Monitor:
[…] Election officials say actual numbers will probably be below these figures.
“What people say they’re going to do and what they actually do is not always the same,” says a Western election adviser. “People are reluctant for or a variety of good reasons — if a bomb goes off and they feel they need to stay away for the safety of their family, that’s very understandable.”