Iraq to use new electronic system in May elections

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq says a new electronic system will be used to limit fraud in next month's national elections, and will allow for the announcement of the results within hours of polls closing.

The Independent High Electoral Commission said Monday that 60,000 devices will be distributed nationwide to send voting data via satellite. It says employees have tested the system and found it to be as reliable as hand-counting.

In previous elections, it took weeks to release results because ballots had to be transported to the capital, Baghdad, and counted by hand. In some cases, partial results were released following pressure from political parties.

Nearly 7,000 candidates will vie for 329 seats in the May 12 parliament elections, the fourth since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein