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Sunni, Kurdish Voters Report Few Election Problems

Security was tight for Iraq's national election in troubled areas of the country like Baqubah, a Sunni stronghold. Early Sunday, a brief but fierce firefight broke out, raising an alert. But the day saw no major violence in the area, allowing people to head to ballot boxes.

Some irregularities were reported during the day's voting, ranging from people who claimed they were wrongly left off the voting rolls to a lack of election workers or materials that kept some votes from being cast.

Some of those problems were reported in the northern Kurdish region, where voters cast two ballots Sunday: one for the National Assembly and one for the creation of an independent region Kurdistan. Hear Time magazine's Michael Ware in Baqubah; NPR's Jennifer Ludden; and NPR's Ivan Watson in Erbil.

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Ivan Watson
Ivan Watson is currently based in Istanbul, Turkey. Following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, he has served as one of NPR's foreign "firemen," shuttling to and from hotspots around the Middle East and Central Asia.
Jennifer Ludden helps edit energy and environment stories for NPR's National Desk, working with NPR staffers and a team of public radio reporters across the country. They track the shift to clean energy, state and federal policy moves, and how people and communities are coping with the mounting impacts of climate change.