By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi security forces are casting ballots, two days before the rest of the nation votes in parliamentary elections. The vote is being held six months before schedule in response to mass protests in late 2019 in Baghdad and Iraq’s south. Friday’s so-called “special voting” by the security personnel two days ahead of the election is meant to free police and soldiers so they can provide security on Election Day. There are 3,449 candidates vying for 329 seats in parliament in Sunday’s vote. It will be the sixth elections held since the fall of Saddam Hussein after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.