Iraq has sealed its borders and imposed a night-time curfew as part of security measures for the country's first free vote in nearly 50 years on Sunday.
Travel between Iraqi provinces has also been banned, as the nation prepares to elect a 275-member national assembly -- despite the threat of insurgent attacks. Iraqis living abroad on Friday began casting ballots in the election. Some 280,000 expatriates have registered to vote at polling centers established in 14 countries from Australia to Sweden to the United States. The heaviest turnout is expected in Iran, where more than 60,000 Iraqis have registered. Tight security was apparent at the voting sites, where eager and sometimes emotional Iraqis lined up to vote. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged all Iraqis to go to the polls, saying "elections are the best way to determine any country's future."