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Historic Iraqi Referendum Ends Peacefully

The national referendum on Iraq's new constitution has drawn to a close after a day of apparently strong voter turnout and little violence.

Long lines of voters were reported across much of the country's 18 provinces as the nation's Shi'ite, Kurdish, Sunni Arab and other communities used the ballot boxes to voice their opinion of the proposed new national charter.

Voters were asked the single question: "Do you approve the draft constitution of Iraq?" to which they answered either "yes" or "no."

Tens of thousands of Iraqi security forces and police, as well as U.S.-led coalition troops, provided protection for the country's more than 15 million eligible voters as international and local monitors looked on. There were only a few isolated reports of violence.

A simple majority of voters is needed to pass the constitution. But it could fail if two-thirds of voters in at least three provinces reject it.

Final results are expected in about three days.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.