Over 58 percent of eligible voters have cast their ballots in the four predominately Kurdish provinces in Iran, despite Kurdish opposition groups’ joint call to boycott the votes in the run up to the polls in April, preliminary statistics from the election committees show. Iran held simultaneous elections for the post of the president and legislative seats in city councils across the country on Friday. Kermanshah province, a mainly Kurdish region with large Persian speaking populations had over 75 percent turnout, well above national average of around 73 percent.
Articles about voting issues in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iran: Hassan Rouhani wins Iranian election by a landslide following near-record turnout | The Washington Post
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was reelected to a second term by a landslide, the interior minister declared Saturday, presenting him a resounding endorsement of his plans to end Iran’s pariah status and rejoin the global economy. With 57 percent of the vote, Rouhani defeated his hard-line rival, Ebrahim Raisi, who had the backing of the ruling clergy and allied security forces. He also won a clear mandate to push through domestic reforms and pursue talks with the West, building on the nuclear deal he negotiated with world powers. That agreement, which Rouhani and his cabinet clinched during his first term, constrains Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for international sanctions relief.
Iranians will be able to learn more about their presidential candidates with a simple swipe of their phone. A California-based NGO has helped to create a Tinder-like app for the Iranian smartphone market to provide unfettered information about the candidates ahead of Friday’s national elections. Creators and supporters of the app say it will help Iranian voters make informed choices away from the regime’s propaganda machine that controls the flow of information in Iran.
Once again a major election is approaching in Iran – a presidential election at yet another crucial turning point in the history of the beleaguered theocracy ruling over a restless and ambitious nation, trying by hook or by crook to curtail a rich and powerful political culture far beyond its limited imagination. Once again, nagging questions are paramount among Iranians in and out of their homeland: Are such elections an exercise in futility? Will they make any difference? Do they have any tangible result in the life of the nation?
Iran’s highest leader said on Wednesday that any disrupters of national elections, which are less than two weeks away, would receive a “slap in the face,” underscoring the political tensions lurking behind the vote. The warning came in a widely publicized speech by the leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to graduating cadets of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the powerful paramilitary force, in which he emphasized that security was the most important issue in the May 19 election, when Iranians will choose a new president and city and village councils. Ever since unprecedented antigovernment protests after the disputed 2009 presidential vote, elections have become delicate moments in Iran.
Electronic voting machines are planned to be installed in 145 cities tomorrow as Iran prepares to hold the 5th City and Village Councils elections concurrent with the upcoming presidential vote, an official said on Monday. Speaking to the Tasnim News Agency, Qassem Mirzaee Nekou, an ICT official at the central board responsible for monitoring the 5th City and Village Councils elections said all the necessary measures have been taken to provide the required facilities, including hardware and software, to hold the polls electronically.
Iranian conservative presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi met with visiting Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov — an encounter that Raisi probably did not expect would end up causing problems ahead of the May 19 presidential elections. The hard-line Tasnim News Agency, which is seen as backing Raisi and reported the meeting, described Minnikhanov as an envoy of Russian President Vladimir Putin, seemingly to highlight Raisi’s stature. During the meeting, Minnikhanov reportedly told Raisi, “We hope that the relationship between Iran and Tatarstan will be [further] developed.” He added, “Vladimir Putin gives special importance to the spread of religion, including Islam, as he has formed a strategic group, which I head, for developing relations with Islam [the Islamic world].”
Spokesmen for Iran’s Guardian Council ruled out the possibility that the presidential election, slated for May 19, will be held with electronic voting machines in the whole polling stations, citing security issues. In an interview with the Tasnim News Agency on Friday, Abbasali Kadkhodaei said the upcoming presidential election will definitely not be held fully electronically. An “all-electronic” election requires the Interior Ministry to make arrangements to ensure the security, quality and health of the polls, he noted, adding that given the short time remaining until the polls, the May 19 presidential election will not be held fully electronically.
Domestically-designed machines built to replace ballot boxes in the upcoming city council elections have been successfully tested, removing doubts over the implementation of electronic voting in Iranian elections. Abolfazl Aboutorabi, a member of Majlis Councils and Internal Affairs Commission, made the announcement in a talk with ICANA on Saturday. The elections will be held on May 19, concurrent with the presidential polls. A special parliamentary board, comprising three members of Majlis Councils and Internal Affairs Commission and two from Majlis Article 90 Commission, is tasked with vetting candidates and overseeing the city council elections.
Alireza Barati, deputy Interior Minister for e-governance and IT, has said the interior ministry is ready to hold electronic voting in the forthcoming presidential election if the Guardian Council gives the go-head. “Electronic voting offers advantages such as speed, accuracy and precision and we are ready to use it in the upcoming presidential election provided that the Guardian Council approves it,” ISNA quoted Barati as saying on Monday. There is an economic dimension to electronic voting as it remove the need to print ballots and count votes, the official added.