Wilson Comments on Historic Iraqi Elections

Feb 1, 2005
“Mr. Speaker, having served as poll manager, poll watcher, county election commissioner, state ballot security coordinator, campaign manager and candidate, I know firsthand the challenges of free elections. In our developed democracy, we are confronted with the serious problems of securing polling locations, recruiting poll workers, printing intelligible ballots, finding dedicated managers, providing current poll lists…the challenges are endless. But, unlike Iraqi voters, we’ve rarely been asked to brave bullets, bombs and terrorist thugs on our way to the polls. The millions of Iraqi voters are to be commended for their bravery. I also credit the Iraqi security forces, American service members and coalition troops for securing the over 5,000 polling sites across the country. Thanks to their good work, the Iraqi voters were able to enthusiastically cast their votes at ballot boxes signaling their personal commitment to the future of their country. The success of Sunday’s elections is a tangible fulfillment of the vision of President George W. Bush and proves that democracy abroad is the best way to protect American families at home. Terrorist extremists cannot and will not survive in free nations. In conclusion, may God bless our troops, and we will not forget September 11th. "