Iraqi election officials continue check of referendum ballots

[JURIST] Officials from the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq [official website] resumed counting ballots Tuesday as part of an effort to recheck an unusually high number of votes [JURIST report] in this weekend's referendum on the Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive]. The recount had been disrupted by a sandstorm, but ballot boxes from 12 Shiite and Kurdish provinces are now back on their way to Baghdad. Early reports suggest that as many as 99 percent of Iraqi voters have approved the draft constitution and IECI head Adil al-Lami said Tuesday that the IECI was auditing the vote count where the numbers turned out to be higher or lower than expected. Rumors that the overwhelming majority have voted "yes" to the Constitution have led Sunni Arabs to make accusations of voter fraud, suggesting that the police took ballot boxes from heavily "no" districts and that "yes" districts had more votes than registered voters. AP has more.

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