Officials are checking unusually high vote tallies in some districts within Iraq from the plebiscite on the national constitution, the Associated Press reports.
While democracy-haters here and abroad will use this to label the whole election a sham, some things for the rational to consider:
-- That some irregularities may have occured is not unusual in any election, particularly in a country so new to democracy, where stuffing the ballotbox was formerly the national pastime;
-- The fact that anyone is even examing the results is progress in a country like Iraq -- actual checks and balances, as opposed to the openly fixed "elections" conducted by Saddam;
-- Those in favor had little to gain from cheating, since the polls showed that the constitution would pass overwhelmlingly anyway -- Kurds and Shiites, who make up 80 percent of the popultion, favor the constitution by a large margin:
-- On the other hand, Sunni factions opposed to the constitution have everything to gain from crying "foul" and trying to spoil the election.
We'll see where this goes, but I doubt the results will be overturned.