Election officials prepare to distribute voter ID cards to Iraqi citizens in Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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Iraq's election commission said Saturday that it has not yet decided how it will distribute voter ID cards in the embattled western province of Anbar, barely two months before the country's first election since the 2011 withdrawal of the U.S. forces.The statement highlights the difficulties faced by Iraqi authorities in conducting elections following nearly a year of deteriorating security. The same day, Independent High Electoral Commission official Aziz al-Kheikani said the distribution began in four new provinces including the capital Baghdad in preparation for the April 30 ballot. Voters in 13 of Iraq's 18 provinces began to receive cards, which contain a computer chip, three weeks ago.Nearly 22 million Iraqis are eligible to cast their ballots in parliamentary election, scheduled for April 30, to choose 325 lawmakers.Al-Kheikani said the cards will be used only to facilitate the process of checking the voters' details before they take a ballot sheet in upcoming elections.
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