W hat the world witnessed Saturday (Oct. 15, 2005) in Iraq was Iraqis voting for their future. While the final outcome is not known at the time this article is being written, the important thing is that Iraqis took the next step in their push for democracy by exercising their right to vote.
Everybody did their part to ensure a successful referendum and we accomplished our
objective: each Iraqi had the opportunity to vote. The Iraqi government conducted outreach to ensure citizens learned about the Constitution, the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq ran the polling stations, Iraqi Security Forces along with the Coalition forces provided outstanding security and Iraqis voted.
Despite constant insurgent threats of violence, referendum day was relatively peaceful and significantly better than the January election. Last January there were approximately 300 attacks across the country, about 90 directed against polling sites. Saturday there were less than 100 attacks across the country and less than 20 directed against polling sites. Overall, almost a 70 percent drop in attacks.