The polls have closed... from the reports so far, it sounds like turnout was heavy in most areas, though, alas, light in the trouble spots. (Did anyone really expect a lot of voting in Fallujah or Tikrit?)
Terrorist attacks killed, by the highest estimate I've seen so far, about four dozen people, including eight terrorists. Bad, but hardly the bloodbath that was threatened.
Contrary to the expectations of pundits, voters didn't immediately don gloves to cover their ink-stained fingers. Rather, the purple index finger is proudly displayed in solidarity with the rest of the voters, and in defiance of the terrorists.
It wasn't just a bunch of pro-American cheerleaders voting, either. There were reports of people who had decided to vote because they'd gotten the message that that's the way you get rid of American occupiers: elect a government that will ask them to leave.
We won't know the results for a while yet; all those ballots need to be counted, and the Iraqis don't have modern conveniences like exit polls to give instant wrong results. In a sense, though, it doesn't matter that much which list people voted for.
All the lists on the ballot had one important thing in common:
They were on the ballot.
This means that, however the representation on the National Assembly is distributed as a result of the vote, it will be distributed among those who got there by persuading people to vote for them, not by force.
Speculation has the Communists doing quite well, but don't be alarmed: the Iraqi Communist Party is completely out of step with the rest of the world's Communists, and can be expected to be a good influence in the government.
Ongoing coverage at The Command Post.
Overall, it looks like good news. While the Iraqis are experimenting with election-night parties, it's time for me to grab some breakfast, and head for the hills - looks like hiking weather out there!
Update: big roundup at Instapundit.
Iconic, isn't it?