At many polling sites they stood in long lines, men, women, the very old and even the sick even if they had to be carried to the polls by relatives.
U.S. security forces were ordered to stay in the background to avoid the impression that Iraqis are voting under U.S. pressure. Extensive security measures could not stop all the violence.
A string of suicide bombs and mortar attacks claimed over 40 Iraqi lives. Iraqi election officials said it might take 10 days to determine the vote's winners and said they had no firm estimate of voter turnout.