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Iraqi Election Official Denies Problems With Voter Lists

Sealed ballot boxes at a warehouse in Al-Ramadi following the vote
BAGHDAD -- Iraq's top election official has rejected claims that problems with voter lists prevented some people from voting in the provincial elections.

Faraj al-Haydari, chairman of the High Independent Election Commission, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) that the cases cited by observers were not serious enough to affect the outcome of the elections.

Muhammad al-Kinani, who heads a nongovernmental organization that had thousands of observers throughout the country, told RFI that up to 15 percent of eligible voters could not cast their ballots because their names were not on the lists of registered voters.

Al-Haydari disputed this figure, adding that voter lists were reviewed about four months before election day and lists with people's polling stations were posted at centers where people receive food rations.

Al-Haydari said voters had ample time to update any incorrect personal data.

He also confirmed that results will be announced on February 5.