Iran holds elections

The World

This is President Ahmadinejad’s hometown and eager election voters here greet the voters and eventually give them a small paper ballot. The town is proud of its native son says the director of one polling station. He predicts at least an 80% voter turnout. Outside voters agree, they like the idea Ahmadinejad stands up to the West. One voter asks me if they have the same type of grand elections in the US. everyone here is well versed in the low percentage of voters that turn out for US elections and getting the Iranian percentage higher seems to be the main point of these elections. In the space of twenty minutes, four separate Iranian security officials interrupted interviews I was conducting to make sure my credentials were in order. This official says there will be a high turnout and it will send a message to the US. in smaller towns like this one, turnout was expected to be high, but in bigger cities like Tehran, turnout could be a big question. This Tehran neighborhood is a stronghold of the reformists and this man says his favorite opposition candidate wasn’t allowed to run. He’s impressed that candidates from minority groups, like Barack Obama, can do so well, and he’s happy the Democrats in Congress are giving President Bush a hard time. This student says she doesn’t have much faith in either party and is the only person taking part in the elections. Iranians officials are expecting results within 24 hours.

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