Sham Elections – No. 4
Iranian regime paving the way to announce over 70% voter turnout in election theatrics
Popular apathy, regime’s theatrics to portray a good turnout
Since several days ago, the antihuman clerical regime has been paving the way to announce a 70% voter turnout in the sham elections. On Thursday February 25, a day prior to the elections, regime’s Minister of Interior told the state TV: “Various opinion polls indicate a 65% to 70% turnout for tomorrow’s elections and we predict a 70% turnout.”
Despite these theatrics, reports from polling stations by observers affiliated with the resistance, reports from inside the Iranian regime, and reports from journalists who managed to visit a number of polling stations out of the control of the intelligence agents all indicate complete popular indifference toward this theatrics:
- The Iranian regime had planned to create a false sense of crowding at the polling stations by concurrently conducting the parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections. According to reports by the resistance from the polling stations, as well as that of other journalists, each individual spends anywhere from half an hour to three quarters of an hour to vote for both assemblies. Therefore, if only several hundred people show up to vote at a certain polling station during the whole election day, soon a queue will form at that station. Despite this fact, reports indicate that most polling stations in Tehran or in various parts of the country have been almost deserted and no lines were formed at these polling stations.
- The number of polling stations in the previous parliamentary election conducted in 2012 (where there was no concurrency with the Assembly of Experts elections) was more or less equal to this year’s. This is despite the fact that according to state statistics in these four years, the number of voters has grown by four million. Nevertheless, regime was unsuccessful in portraying the election as it so wished.
- The Iranian regime cut down the number of polling stations in central Tehran and in some large cities and dispatched its elements to these polling stations to show a crowd to the foreign reporters and use these polling stations for the state media to shoot video clips. Polling stations such as Hosseinyeh Ershad, Imam Hossein Mosque, and Prophet’s Mosque in Tehran were among these.
- Airing clips by state television of voters organized in a few polling stations such as Hossienyeh Ershad over and over again since this morning quite well bespeaks of the low turnout in regime’s election theatrics.
- According to reports from thousands of polling stations by observers of the resistance and given the clips shown by the state television and shot by foreign reporters from these very handpicked centers, the election theatrics has been boycotted by the young in an unprecedented manner. Rarely one sees someone under 30 at the polling stations despite the fact that the regime employed extensive propaganda to get those eligible for voting for the first time to cast ballots.
- In many districts of Tehran such as southern, western and eastern Tehran that house the majority of the city’s population, the turnout was quite low with the number of voters in many polling stations standing at several dozen for the whole election day.
- New York Times reporter notes that many of the poor people in Tehran showed their dissent by staying at home. At a school near Shoosh Square “only a handful of voters filled in the 46 names that have to be written in for the two elections”. This reporter quotes an Iranian journalist: “The poor in the south have lost all hope for change.” And quoting a vendor who sells children’s clothing he emphasized: “Here, people don’t vote because they feel left out.”
- Fars News Agency, affiliated with the revolutionary guards, announced that until 4 pm Tehran time which is eight hours after the polls opened, only 1.5 million or around 17% have participated in the elections. Although this figure itself has been multiplied several times but it clearly shows the low turnout in regime’s theatrics. Regime’s Minister of Interior had announced the previous day that 62% will come out to vote in Tehran.