In the midst of apathy about the presidential election, several Iranians describe voting as “useless.”
Because so few Iranians turned out to vote for their president on Friday, some said voting was “useless,” according to the Associated Press.
“Anyone who wins an election after a period of time claims that he is unable to handle the economy’s problems due to the interference of powerful people. Then he forgets his promises, and we, the impoverished people, are once again disappointed,” Ali Hosseini, a 36-year-old Tehran resident, said.
Long lineups would normally be visible at polling locations, with automobiles and minibuses zigzagging through the streets of the city with campaign slogans. This year, there was relatively little traffic on the streets, and the usual fervor was missing.
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While Iranian state television portrayed people flowing in to vote on Friday, and news anchors thanked them for doing so, quite different scenarios unfolded on the streets of Tehran, where many polling stations looked to be relatively empty.
The electoral atmosphere was decidedly subdued amid mounting resentment and apathy over a presidential vote slanted in favor of Ebrahim Raisi, the hard-line judiciary chief groomed by Iran’s supreme leader.
Hundreds of journalists crammed into Tehran’s turquoise-domed Hosseinieh Ershad institute to shoot officials and ordinary Iranians voting. Local and international media broadcasted images of journalists squeezing and jostling in the polling place.
However, that sight contrasted with what people saw at 16 voting sites across Tehran, where queues were short and no more than eight voters could be seen casting ballots at a time. In sharp contrast to surrounding ice cream stores and eateries, some polling remained nearly unoccupied throughout the day. More over half of the voters contacted at various stations stated they voted for Raisi. Poll workers were bored, so they listened to the radio, looked at their phones, or simply spoke.
While official government data won’t be released until Saturday, the state-run Iranian Student Polling Agency predicted a turnout of little over 40% earlier this week, the lowest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Days before the election, signs of concern over voter turnout began to surface at the highest echelons of Iran’s leadership. Authorities from the powerful hard-line Revolutionary Guard to comparatively moderate officials across the political spectrum—fearing a boycott that would jeopardize the theocratic system’s credibility. This is a condensed version of the information.