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Iran Election: Low Turnout; Concealment of Ballot Paper Usage Statistics; Foreign Journalists Acknowledge Boycott


Iran – show elections – No. 3

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According to reports received from polling stations across the country, as of 3 pm Tehran time, turnout has been very low. Some polling station officials have reported to the election headquarters that, unlike previous years, turnout is still low in the middle of the day, even with the warmer weather and Friday prayers. They have suggested that if journalists are to be sent, they should be sent in the evening when there might be more people at the stations.

A report sent to the election headquarters by an official at a polling station in Baharestan, Tehran province, emphasizes that “I have visited all the polling stations, and the turnout is very low.”

In an instruction issued to the various districts, in order to conceal the extent of the election boycott, election officials are required to treat the number of ballot papers used and the turnout as confidential and not even to transmit statistical reports by telephone.

According to reports from many polling stations, including in Tehran, Karaj, Torbat Heydariyeh, Doroud, Sanandaj, Qazvin, Eqlid, Maragheh, Hamedan, Chabahar, Kashmar, Shahr-e Qods, Islamabad Gharb, Meshkin Shahr, Mashhad, Jiroft, Zanjan, Pishva, Bojnord, Izeh, Somesara, Rezvanshahr, Fuman, Rasht, Gorgan, Ilam, Masal, Shahr-e Rey, Fahraj, Semirom, Kermanshah, Neka, Sari, Pakdasht, Kashan, Isfahan, Amol, Neyshabur, Qom, Firouzkooh, Langroud, Talesh, Khorramabad, Baharestan Tehran, Shahriyar, Fooladshahr, Abdanan, Shahin Shahr, Khoorasgan, Nashtarud, Malekan, Ardabil, Kerman and Fardis, very few people have turned out to vote, and in some of them no one has turned out at all.

In order to show that the people are welcoming the vote, the mullahs’ regime takes its IRGC, Basij, police, and other repressive forces and mercenaries to some polling stations and films them for broadcast on state television.

The extent of the boycott is such that even those foreign journalists who have been allowed to enter Iran have emphasized the non-participation of the people. This is despite the fact that foreign journalists are usually only allowed to visit polling stations in central Tehran, which are busier.

The Associated Press wrote: “Iranian officials and even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have urged the public to cast ballots, but polling stations in the country’s capital, Tehran, appeared to see few voters… Iranian state television showed crowded polling stations but elsewhere, there appeared to be few voters braving the freezing temperatures in Tehran…. Meanwhile, a heavy security presence could be seen across the capital, with ordinary and anti-riot police officers visible in main squares and junctions..”

The regime’s Jahan Sanat newspaper wrote on February 29: “The 12th Majlis elections are being held while there is no sign of excitement about the elections in society, especially in large cities. According to polls, half of the people do not even know what elections are going to be held in Esfand (March)…”

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

1 March 2024