Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

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IRAQ: The weight of democracy

January 25, 2009 | 11:30 pm

As Iraq approaches its watershed provincial elections on Saturday, polling teams are doing no small amount of heavy lifting.

According to the Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission and the International Electoral Assistance Team, contractors are delivering more than 1,300 tons of election materials manufactured in China, India, England, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to almost 50,000 polling sites across the nation.

For those keeping score of such things, the tonnage breaks down as follows:

Election kits, including indelible ink bottles and ballot stamps — 607 tons.

Registered voter lists, wall posters and complaint forms — 20 tons.

Ballot papers — 559 tons.

Polling screens — 180 tons.

— Monte Morin in Baghdad