Small Percentage of Iraqi-Americans Participating in Election

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, January 28, 2005
There are some seven thousand candidates vying for the 275 seats on Iraq’s National Assembly. Only within the last couple of days have the parties and slates released the identities of the candidates. Sargon Dedasho, who broadcasts an international program on Iraqi affairs via satellite from Ceres in Stanislaus County, says there’s concern about the safety of the candidates. DEDASHO :07—They held them to the last minute due to security, but now all the slates have released their candidate’s names. Figures released by election officials at the polling station near Los Angeles indicate a small percentage of Iraqi expatriates are participating in the election. Of the some 70-thousand eligible voters in and around California, only four thousand registered to vote. Officials had anticipated at least seven thousand would cast a ballot. Dardesho attributes the low turnout to the long distances people need to travel to get to the polling site. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.