The elections in Iraq are on Thursday, but the confidence of some voter rolls are already coming into question.

From the NY Times:

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 11 – With just four days to go until parliamentary elections, the Iraqi electoral commission said today that it had found irregularities in voter registration in the volatile northern oil city of Kirkuk.

The discovery was the first instance of an election irregularity announced by the commission as the country prepared for the vote on Thursday.

The commission said experts conducting an audit of voter lists found that there had been an unexpected surge in voter registration in the area. When the experts scrutinized the voter registration forms, the commission said in a written statement, they found that many had been filled out incorrectly. Some had missing signatures and others had more than one signature. In some cases, the same name appeared on several forms.

Adel al-Lami, the director general of the Iraqi electoral commission, said in an interview that in his view the voter registration irregularities were technical errors and not politically motivated. “Please stay away from political conspiracies,” he said. “There’s no political reason for this.”

Hopefully these irregularities can be cleared pre-election, although something tells me that they won’t be and we’ll simply have to rely on the assurances that this isn’t a conspiracy.

Personally, I’d much rather see some clear signs that these problems are simply malfunctions, but I doubt we’ll get that kind of assurance before the elections. Too bad.