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Polls close in Iraq constitution vote marked by higher Sunni turnout, little violence

[JURIST] Polls closed in Iraq at 5PM local time (10 AM ET) Saturday after a day of voting in the country's constitutional referendum [IECI factsheet, PDF] marked by relatively little violence and a higher Sunni turnout than was seen in January's parliamentary elections. Insurgents attacked several of the more than 6100 heavily-guarded polling stations causing some casualities, but nowhere near the 40+ death toll during the January vote. Rather than stay at home this time, many Sunnis turned out to cast their ballots, most likely against the US-supported draft [JURIST news archive], which establishes a federal state which many Sunnis oppose, saying that will lead to separate Kurdish and Shiite states in the north and south. But Kurds and Shiites also turned out in large numbers, encouraged by their political and clerical leaders. Few voters went to the polls in the violence-wracked Sunni province of Anbar, however. The constitution will be approved if a majority of Iraqi voters favor it, as long as two-thirds of voters in three of Iraq's 18 provinces do not reject it. A full count is not expected for several days. Reuters has more. From Baghdad, the author of the Iraq the Model weblog has updates, pictures, and reflections on his own trip to the polls.

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