One Oklahoman drove 9 hours to Nashville to be a part of Iraqi history

Sunday, January 30th 2005, 3:34 pm
By: News On 6

More than 250,000 Iraqis living in the US headed to the polls to vote in the historic election. One voter lives in Tulsa. He drove nine hours to the nearest polling place, just to have his voice heard.

6 in the Morning reporter Omar Villafranca says Sarhang Rafaii left Iraq for the United States in 1992 after refusing to serve in Saddam Hussein's army. This weekend, he made another journey. Rafaii packed up his car and drove more than 600 miles to vote.

Rafaii says nothing could keep him from making the trip from Tulsa to Nashville, Tennessee to participate in the election. Rafaii says he still cares about Iraq and its future. And that's why he voted. "Everybody who wants to raise his voice for whatever he wants that's happening right now even back home in Iraq that's happening and we're so excited so happy."

No Iraqi has voted in a democratic election in more than 50 years. That's why Rafaii shows off his inked fingers, a sign he voted, with pride. Rafaii says he didn't just vote for himself, but for a unified Iraq.

The ballots have not been counted and we won't know complete results for more than a week, but that doesn't matter to the Rafaii. They say they'll never forget their historic day.