As the Jan. 30 election in Iraq nears, tensions are building and election workers there are scared. Some have been killed.

The interim government admits more attacks are likely as former regime loyalists try to stop the vote from happening. People planning to go to the polls are nervous about security, but election officials say Iraqis are excited about participating.

"They are happy to have an election for the first time in half a century," said Farid Ayar of the Iraqi Independent Electoral Commission (search). "During the Saddam regime, it was not an election, it was a so-called election."

Even campaigning is a challenge because of security fears.

One mayoral candidate who spoke to FOX News asked that his face not be shown because he's afraid of retribution — especially since he has already spent 20 years in prison for criticizing former dictator Saddam Hussein (search).

While election preparations continue, Iraqis are becoming more confident that the vote actually will take place. FOX News found some people desperate to talk but too scared to let others know they plan to participate.

Click in the box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Heather Nauert.