Bloodstained Votes: The facade of democracy in Iran
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A Ballot Box That Smells of Blood

In recent years, Iran has seen low voter turnout in elections, closely linked to widespread reports of election manipulation and the disqualification of reformist candidates. The government often temporarily loosens social controls before elections to maximize participation, only to clamp down on any dissent afterward. This pattern suggests an effort by the regime to project a facade of democracy while suppressing genuine political participation and protests.
For example, the 2024 parliamentary elections recorded only a 41% turnout, the lowest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Many potential reformist and moderate candidates were barred from participating, diminishing public trust and interest in the electoral process. The elections were conducted in a highly controlled environment, with reports of voter intimidation and the use of various identification documents to inflate or manipulate participation rates.
These practices reflect the Iranian government's broad strategy to control election outcomes and maintain power at any cost. The manipulation of election results and voter data appears to be a systematic approach to undermine electoral integrity and suppress political dissent within the country.

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