A spokesman for Iraq's election commission says authorities have begun to distribute voter ID cards in all but one of the country's 18 provinces, preparing for an April election that will be the first since the 2011 withdrawal of the U.S. forces.

Aziz al-Kheikani said Saturday that distribution began in four new provinces including the capital Baghdad. Voters in 13 provinces began to receive cards, which contain a computer chip, three weeks ago.

He said authorities will decide soon on how to distribute cards in the western province of Anbar.

Iraq's Sunni insurgency is at its strongest in Anbar. Militants have taken control of the city of Fallujah and parts of the provincial capital Ramadi.

The parliamentary election is scheduled for April 30.