Turnouts around 75%
are being reported for areas of Iraq outside Sunni and violence-dominated cities. For reference
, only Alaska, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Wisconsin had more than 70% turnout among eligible voters in 2004. On the other hand, one person also reported 300 out of 400,000 in Ramadi -- less than 0.1% turnout.
This is clearly a big psychological victory. While conditions won't be that much better tomorrow, millions of people have participated in a ritual sending the message that things will
get better. They have given their shout of support and of legitimacy to the participatory process.
But imagine if the U.S. was in a shambles, and after a year of marshal law an election was scraped together. From Maine to Minnesota to Alaska, voters turned out in great numbers, but the showing in the Southern states was in the single digits. It would be a long time until the country was stable. There's a long way yet to go, but the road is promising.
Incidentally, the Iraqis are perfectly happy to wait for a few weeks before they find out who's been elected. We could be so humble.