Special elections at select spots in the United States for Iranian-Americans and expatriates to vote on Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s replacement kick off Friday, but voter turnout is low as young people in particular see their ballots as worthless.
“Both in the diaspora and in Iran itself, people lost confidence in the worth of their vote,” said Reza Aslan, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, in The Associated Press.
Youth were disillusioned in the 2009 special elections in the United States, when protesters took to the streets to oppose the re-election of Mr. Ahmadinejad instead of the reform candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, he said, in the AP report.
Then, huge crowds of young voters rallied in various city streets, displaying placards that asked: “Where is my vote?” And police and protesters clashed, leaving several injured, AP reported.
Six candidates are seeking Iran’s presidential slot.
An estimated 414,000 Iranians live in the United States, with California touting the largest population. Six of the nation’s special polling places are located in the state, and anyone with a current and valid Iranian passport can vote.