Iraqi Voters Flock to Bay Area

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Christie Smith
    The Alameda Fairgrounds in Pleasanton is one of only three polling places on the West Coast for Iraqi elections.

    There will be a lot of people proudly flashing purple-stained fingertips in the Bay Area this weekend as thousands of Iraqi immigrants flock to the region for the chance of a lifetime: casting a vote in an election for their native country.

    Immigrants and first-generation Iraqis from as far away as Oregon and Nevada will vote at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton for Iraq's second Democratic election.

    The East Bay polling place is one of eight set up in the U.S. for the voting and only one of three on the West Coast. Voting in Iraq is only happening Sunday but because of the distance between polling places, voting in the U.S. starts Friday and is allowed all weekend.

    Between 300,000 to 3 million Iraqi immigrants in 16 countries could participate in the election, according to the United Nations.