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73% of Iranians did not vote for Ahmadinejad

13 July 2005

Most writers have based their analysis of Ahmadinejad’s ascent to presidency on the numbers published by the regime in trying to make sense of the results. Some journalists labeled his win as a "landslide victory". And some are saying bloggers are out of touch with the majority of people in Iran. But let’s do the math and just assume that the results announced by the regime are valid.

If the turnout was 46%, and 60% voted for Ahmadinejad, doesn’t this mean that only 27% of the population voted for Ahamdinejad? Is that a landslide victory?

True, some people voted for Ahamadinejad because of his anti-corruption platform. And when pressed to choose between Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad, some may have voted for Ahmadinejad because of the "humble" image he projected. But we will never know what the "real" outcome was of this election. What we do know is that the math does not add up and it’s hard to analyze any outcome when you do not know the facts.

Bill Samii’s article on Radio Free Europe on June 30 ("Iran: Do The Presidential Vote Numbers Really Add Up?"), raises several good points regarding the election results. Here are some of the issues he pondered:

bq. *There were 40,805 polling places in the first round of the election on 17 June and 40,979 in the second round. There is no explanation for this increase.

bq. *Turnout out numbers were more than 100% in some provinces. Damavand (100.53 percent turnout), Robat Karim (131.3 percent), Rey (216 percent), and Shemiranat (839.82 percent).

bq. *Ahmadinejad won 17,248,782 votes, while in the first round he got 5,710,354 votes. How did he gather an additional 11.5 million votes in one week? Even if voter participation remained the same, and if Ahmadinejad received the 5,815,352 votes that went to the other hard-line candidates in the first round (Ali Larijani and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf) that would only amount to 11,525,706. It defies logic that under circumstances where fewer people were voting, support for Ahmadinejad almost tripled.

So many people are blaming the outcome of this election on different things, anything from Bush's speech to Iranian exiles... But any attempts to understand the result of this election are irrelevant because no one really knows... So let's move on!

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