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Amid tight security, Iraq's army and police begin early voting for new, 328-seat parliament

Mideast Jordan Iraq Elections-1.jpg

Ayad Allawi, the leader of Iraq's main Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc and former Prime Minister, center, arrives at a polling station as his identity is checked by one of the voting watchers, for the Iraqi parliamentary election, in Amman, Jordan, Sunday, April 27, 2014. After voting Allawi expressed his views on the election, “really this is a shameful kind of elections, and I can categorize it by an election which is not worthy, not up to the standards of the Iraqi people, but this is the only way for change in Iraq, and I call upon all Iraqis to go to the ballot boxes to cast their votes to change the current situation,”Allawi said. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon) (The Associated Press)

Amid tight security, some one million Iraqi army and police personnel have started voting for the nation's new parliament.

The voting is held two days before the rest of Iraq's 22 million registered voters can go to the polls to elect a new, 328-member chamber, the first nationwide balloting since the withdrawal of U.S. forces in late 2011.

Voters at one central Baghdad polling station for military and police personnel went through four ID checks and search stations before they could enter the building on Monday. Inside, police dogs were used to search for explosives.

Iraq is experiencing a surge in violence, with Sunni militants targeting security forces and members of the nation's Shiite majority. Voters in Wednesday's polls are widely expected to cast ballots along sectarian and ethnic lines.