Monday, June 15, 2009

Voting Irregularities Reported in Iranian Elections

(Reuters) Tehran, Iran - Amid increasingly violent protests in Tehran, reports are coming out of Iran's southern Hormozgan Province that thousands of ballots were improperly counted in the presidential battle between right wing candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and centrist candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

Early indication are that so-called "butterfly ballots" in the heavily Jewish province were confusing, causing many elderly voters to cast ballots for Pat Buchanan by mistake.

"The ballots were confusing and difficult to read," said one elderly voter who refused to be named. "And Pat Buchanan? Is he even Iranian?"

The closeness of the return in this province has triggered an automatic recount, per election law. Supporters of Mr. Mousavi, however, point out that the Secretary of State for the Hormozgan Province, Khathri Neharisa, is also the chair of Ahmadinejad's re-election committee, and have sent in swarms of lawyers to challenge the vote count.

Both campaigns knew by late last week that the votes in the Hormozgan Province would be very close. Election night returns confirmed this fact when major Iranian news networks called the election for Mr. Mousavi, retracted the projection, called the election for Mr. Ahmadinejad, and then retracted that projection. Mr. Mousavi has also rescinded his election night concession to Mr. Ahmadinejad.

Observers speculate that the election could be thrown to Iran's Guardian Council, should the election crisis become drawn out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not even vaguely funny