In previous elections in Iran there have been claims of rigging and engineering and other types of fraud. The most recent vote, in which President Hassan Rouhani has been re-elected for a second term, is no exception.
One way in which the election is rigged is through the practice of multiplying the real number of votes for each candidate in an effort to legitimise the process.
The Iranian regime has also been known to print an unnecessarily large number of voting slips so that it gives the impression that there are more people participating in the vote than there actually is.
In 2009, former Prime Minister of Iran, Mir Hossein Mousavi, claimed that the election was rigged. He strongly disputed the presidential election of that year which granted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term in office. He said that there were between 22 and 32 million extra voting slips printed that year.
It also came to light that statistics are compiled by an Interior Ministry entity known as the “Vote Compiling Room”.
Eight years later, it has been reported that there were more than 200 million ballots printed for the latest election. These slips were to be used for the three rounds of elections that all took place on Friday 19th May. They were the presidential election, the city and village council elections and the midterm parliamentary elections.
However, Tasnim news agency (which has links with the country’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force) said that there were just over 56 million eligible voters in Iran.
So 56 million slips for the presidential election and 56 million slips for the city and village council elections leaves more than 80 million slips for the midterm parliamentary elections. However, these elections only took place in four of Iran’s provinces and related to one city and a small number of towns where the total number of eligible voters does not exceed 2.5 million.
This leaves dozens of millions of excess voting slips.
The Interior Ministry, according to its own official figures, says that since Iran had been ruled by the mullahs, only 25 to 49 percent of people that are eligible to vote actually cast a ballot. I emphasise that these are the Interior Ministry’s figures, so the reality is that there are even more than this.
Experts believe that in the election earlier this month, only around 6 or 7 percent of the eligible voters casted their ballot.