Door-To-Door Voting For Iraq sign now

The military coalition in Iraq is already seasoned and adept at going door-to-door in high-risk areas. On January 30th they need to do it again; bringing ballots with them as well.

Highly-protected convoys made up of election workers, international observers, journalists and others will move from house to house in insurgent-threatened areas. They will ask for permission to enter homes. If they are granted entry, they will set up a makeshift voting booth giving any appropriate person in the home the chance to vote. While waiting, they can verify the identification of each voter. This allows the act of voting to remain private and legitimate. There will be little fraud. More importantly, no militant will be able to tell whether his neighbor is voting, or simply offering their visitors some tea.

The voting convoys can strike any area at any time, thus retaining the element of surprise and preventing insurgent planning. They can protect themselves with an almost insurmountable amount of firepower from land and air because they will be small, connected and mobile. They can move out of harms way if there is some sort of break-down, trying again at a more opportune time. Ultimately, this keeps the voting system on the offensive, rather than the current design which is a defensive position constantly waiting for an incoming attack.

Door-to-door voting would be cheaper than a day-long election. It would also be much safer; protecting hundreds, possibly thousands of lives. It could be implemented with a phased approach, thus giving more flexibility to the fast-approaching January 30th deadline. Ultimately, this plan holds the best hope for a legitimate election.

We have the infrastructure to implement this. We have the experience to do it too. All it takes is a little creative planning and some genuine flexibility on the part of the US and Iraqi governments.

In summary:

Door-To-Door Voting in Iraq would allow -

1. residents to vote secretly, so they arent pressured by militants to avoid the ballot box.
2. genuine protection to everyone involved in the voting process.
3. international observers in the voting process limiting doubt about the results.
4. the identity of each voter to be verified.

Additionally:

5. The infrastructure and experience is already in place to implement this thanks to clashes in Falluja and elsewhere in Iraq.

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Victor StevensBy:
International PolicyIn:
Petition target:
US and Iraqi Governments

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