As for the current voters, they include folks who didn't participate in prior elections due to fear of violence:
"I just voted and I'm very happy," Mukhalad Waleed, 35, said in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province. "We could not do the same thing the last time because of the insurgency."Broadening participation should encourage broadening feeling that the public is being represented. The decline in abstention from the elections seems to indicate both increased confidence in the safety of participating, and the improved view that democratic government (as opposed to participation in opposition militias) is the answer to the problems of Iraq.
via International Herald-Tribune
Some Sunnis, like Khaled al-Azemi, said the boycott last time had been a mistake.
"We lost a lot because we didn't vote and we saw the result - sectarian violence" he told the BBC.
"That's why we want to vote now to avoid the mistakes of the past."
Extended an hour due to heavy turnout, Iraq's elections were hailed by its Prime Minister as a victory for the whole country.