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Security for Iraqi Voting Site Is 'Inadequate' (Maryland Hotel, near DC) [View All]

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diamond14 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-15-05 05:17 PM
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Security for Iraqi Voting Site Is 'Inadequate' (Maryland Hotel, near DC)
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Edited on Sat Jan-15-05 05:29 PM by diamond14

Security for Iraqi Voting Site Is 'Inadequate,' Johnson Says
Officials Briefed on Maryland Hotel Arrangements

By Hamil R. Harris and Caryle Murphy
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, January 15, 2005; Page B06


Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson said yesterday that security is "totally inadequate" at the New Carrollton hotel that will serve as a polling place for Iraqi immigrants casting absentee ballots in the Jan. 30 election.

Johnson said use of the hotel as a polling place posed a security threat to county residents, and he expressed concern about the organization's plans to hire private companies to provide security at the hotel.

Michael Irish'Stephenson, an official with the Iraq Out-of-Country Voting Program, the nongovernmental organization that is running the Iraqi election in the United States, said his team held a meeting yesterday morning with "a great number of" state and local officials to brief them on what would go on at the polling site.

"It's a big thing for us!" Johnson said. "For anyone to say that we shouldn't worry about it, that you can have six security guards in an election like this, where this is the site for the entire Northeast United States . . . is nonsense."

Voter registration will take place at the hotel's exhibition center beginning Monday until Jan 23. Elections, which will determine the makeup of a 275-seat National Assembly, are scheduled from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30. Organizers say that as many as 20,000 voters from across the Eastern Seaboard could use the site.

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