Timeline Of Iran Presidential Vote On June 18, 19
Iran's controversial thirteenth presidential and local elections began Friday, June 18 with four contenders. Three candidates (reformist Mohsen Mehralizadeh, principlist Ali Zakani and Saeed Jalili) withdrew from the race on Wednesday. Officials have said results are to be announced before noon on Saturday. Election watchdog, the Guardian Council, disqualified several key candidates including former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Vice-President Es'haq Jahangiri, and former parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani.
Candidates: Abdolnaser Hemmati, Ebrahim Raisi (Raeesi), Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh, Mohsen Rezaei
Eligible Voters: 59.311 million including 1.39 million first-time voters.
Voting Time: From 07:00 local time (GMT 02:30) until 17:00 at over 67,000 voting stations. Authorities have said if there are still people waiting to vote inside polling stations, voting can continue until 02:00 local time on Saturday.
Turnout: Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has appealed to Iranians to vote in the elections even if they have "grievances". Turnout is expected to be under 50% and the lowest in the history of the Islamic Republic. Many have boycotted the elections or said they will cast blank votes to protest the watchdog Guardian Council not allowing their favored candidates to run. One of the latest polls conducted for Iran International by Statis pollsters put the estimate for turnout in the June 18 election at 41 percent. ISPA, the polling agency of the semi-official ISNA news agency, has predicted a turnout between 36 to 42 percent at different times during the past week.
Polls so far have shown Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi (Raeesi) as the frontrunner with over 60% of the vote but the latest poll carried out for Iran International TV from June 15 to 17 found Raisi's votes have grown to 76%. He is followed by Mohsen Rezaei (15%), Abdolnaser Hemmati (7%), and Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh (7%).
12:20 local time: After president Hassan Rouhani issued a congratulatory message for Ebrahim Raisi Satruday morning, he paid a visit to him at his office around noon time to congratulate in person and discuss various matters.
11:20 local time: Jamal Orf, chairman of Iran's election commission announced the first official results of the June 18 presidential vote. Total number of ballots cast was 28.6 million, out of nearly 59.3 million eligible voters, or around 49 percent. However, some Iranian news websites say that the 28.6 million votes are the 90 percent of ballots checked and not the total number of votes. Based on 90 percent of votes counted Ebrahim Raisi 17.8 million votes, Mohsen Rezaei 3.3 million, Abdolnasser Hemmati 2.4 and Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh one million votes. While the boycott movement made a big impact redusing turnout to its lowest level in recent years, the official numbers claim that turnout reached almost 50 percent and Supreme Leader Ali Khameni's preferred candidtae received well over 50 percent of the votes. Orf did not announce the number of blank and void ballots cast as a protest vote, but the total for all candidates so far is 24.5 million votes and millions of ballots remain unexplained.
10:03 local time: Speaking at the weekly meeting of the Coronavirus Combat Taskforce, President Hassan Rouhani congratulates "people's choice" -- winner of the election -- without naming him. "I will postpone the official felicitation for later when results are officially announced," he says.
09:44 local time: In an Instagram post, Abdolnaser Hemmati congratulated Ebrahim Raisi on his winning as votes are still being counted. Interior ministry has not published any results yet. According to unofficial reports, Hemmati has come third among candidates. An unusually high number of "void" votes (over 3 million), more than votes for the second-runner Mohsen Rezaei, has been reported.
09:00 local time: In a letter published by the media, Mohsen Rezaei congratlates Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi on his victory. Official results have not yet been published by the interior ministry but according to unofficial reports Raisi has more than 50% of the votes with over 3 million "void" ballots coming in the second place before Rezaei.
08:30 June 19 local time: The Interior ministry, managing the voting and vote=-counting process, has not yet published any results or offered explanation for the delay in making an announcement.
07:30 June 19 local time: Polls ended more than four hours ago but no official announcement has been made yet about results or the rate of turnout. Unconfirmed reports going around in social media claim 29 million votes were cast of which 24 million have been counted so far. The same reports claim Raisi has 15 million votes so far and there are more "void" votes, nearly 3 million, than the votes of the second runner Mohsen Rezaei who has about 2.8 million votes. He is followed by Abdolnaser Hemmati (2 million votes) and Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh is in the last place with 850,000.
03:03 June 19 local time: Iran’s election headquarters announced that voting in presidential and local elections ended at 2:00 am local time on Saturday, but voters waiting outside polling stations will be invited inside to cast their ballots after the closing time.Iran’s elections usually are extended beyond the legal time, but not beyond the date of the election, which was June 18. But voting this year was extended until 2:00 am on June 19. Low turnout throughout the day, reported by dozens of eyewitnesses and documented in videos, prompted authorities to extend the time.
00:49 local time: Some media and social media reports say the number of voters at polling stations have increased at night hours, but there is little visual evidence of crowded voting centers. Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of former President Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani who had boycotted the vote has changed her mind and voted for Hemmati according to Asr-e Iran website. Polls have to close at 02:00. Unconfirmed reports say turnout is nearing 50%.
23:56 local time: In a tweet, Abbasali Kadkhodaei, spokesman of the election watchdog the Guardian Council, announced that with the approval of the interior ministry voting will continue "as long as" there are people waiting to vote at polling stations.
23:40 local time: All four candidates (Ebrahim Raisi, Abdolnaser Hemmati, Mohsen Rezaei, and Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh) have separately requested the interior ministry to allow voting to continue after midnight until 02:00. So far the ministry has not released a turnout figure. Ballots will be counted as soon as polls close.
21:48 local time: Interior ministry has extended polling time by another hour until 23:00. In a tweet election watchdog spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodaei said the interior ministry has agreed to extend polling time until midnight. Supporters of hardline candidates are demanding an extension of polling time until 02:00 Saturday for what they claim was the delay in beginning the polls. Other social media users claim polling stations have been extremely quiet throughout the day.
21:30 local time: Polling time was extended earlier by an hour until 22:00. The Revolutionary Guards-affiliated Fars News Agency claims there has been "a shortage of ballots across the country "despite Supreme Leader's emphasis and experts' warnings to make sure there would be no shortage.
20:55 local time: In a tweet interior minister's adviser Ruhallah Jome'ei, refuted unofficial turnout rates announced earlier by the Revolutionary Guards-affiliated Fars News Agency and said the ministry which is responsible for holding the elections does not confirm any such unlawful claims. Fars had claimed that 22 million (about 37% of eligible voters) had voted until 19:30 local time. The ministry has not made any announcement of the turnout yet.
20:30 local time: At a polling station, reformist former lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi hinted that elections may end in a run-off. He told Khabar Online that reformists' votes are of a "negative, protesting" nature. Run-off elections are held a week after the first vote.
20:20 local time: Voting hours officially ended at 17:00 but have so far been extended twice, for two hours each time, and will most probably be extended again in line with all previous elections. Authorities have said that if required, polls may continue even until 02:00 Saturday. Fars News Agency now claims 22 million (about 37% of eligible voters) had voted until 19:30 local time.
19:20 local time: Revolutionary Guards' Aerospace Commander Amir-Ali Hajizadeh has said the "value of every vote is higher than a missile fired at the heart of the enemy". Families of the victims of Ukraine's flight PS-752 downed by the Guards' missiles in January 2020 have demanded that Hajizadeh and others be held responsible for the tragedy that claimed 176 lives be put on trial.
19:00 local time: In a letter to Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli, Secretary of the election watchdog, the Guardian Council, Ahmad Jannati, has claimed that electronic voting for local elections has slowed voting and resulted in long queues. He has demanded that votes in local elections be taken manually. This could potentially lead to manipulation, which apparently less likely with electronic voting.
18:00 local time: Social media users in Iran are reporting frequency jamming attacks on foreign-based Persian-language satellite channels including particularly Iran International TV that has been reporting on Iranian elections. Reports say jamming has hugely disrupted reception in major cities such as the capital Tehran and Isfahan.
18:00 local time: Secretary-General of Kargozaran-e Sazandegi Party Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi has tweeted photos of Mehdi Karroubi casting his vote at his home where he has been under arrest since February 2011. Karroubi and his Etemad-e Melli (National Trust) Party have endorsed Abdolnaser Hemmati. Reformists have been divided about voting with some advocating a boycott of the vote, a second group casting blank "protest" votes, and the rest voting for Hemmati. In a Clubhouse session, Karroubi's son Mohammad-Taghi said his mother Fatemeh Karroubi who is herself a politician has refused to vote. Fatemeh Karroubi headed her husband's campaign in the disputed elections of 2009.
17:22 local time: The Revolutionary Guards-affiliated Fars News Agency claims 14 million (23%) voted by 16:45 local time. Voting began at 7:00 am and will last until 12:00 pm and may be extended by two hours into the early morning hours of Saturday. The Fars report has not been confirmed by any official source.
17:15 local time: Social media users from across the country claim polling stations are extraordinarily quiet in comparison with previous elections. Many have posted videos in support of their claim but Principlists (hardliners) are making accusations of disruption in voting against the government of President Hassan Rouhani which they claim does not want a high turnout. Spokesman of the election watchdog Abbasali Kadkhodaei said early afternoon that the watchdog had received more than 3,000 complaints, mainly about delays in opening the polls.
17:00 local time: Former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad published a video Friday reiterating that he would not vote or back any candidate. He added that he is opposed to the current manner of holding the election which only produces “a weak government. Ahmadinejad was disqualified and barred from running by the hardliner Guardian Council under Supreme Leader Khamenei’s supervision. An opinion poll conducted for Iran International in May showed that if Ahmadinejad ran, he would receive more votes than Ebrahim Raisi.
16:45 local time: An opinion survey conducted by Gamaan polling agency in the Netherlands from June 15-18 found almost 70% of eligible voters saying they would not vote. Only 22% of respondents said they would vote and 6% were undecided. Of those who were certain to vote, 61% said they would vote for the frontrunner Ebrahim Raeesi who is backed by most principlists (hardliners). The former chairman of the Central Bank Abdolnasser Hemmati received 13% of the respondents' votes and former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaei 6%.
15:45 local time: This user-generated video from Iran shows a long line outside a kebab rstaurant in Seyyed Khandan district of Tehran and the polling station in the same street, with no one waiting to vote.
15:00 local time: Interior ministry says around five million Iranians have voted from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm. 59.311 million Iranians are eligible to vote including 1.39 million first-time voters. An opinion survey for Iran International TV carried out Sunday with a sample of 600 found likelihood of voting rose by age: Only 28 percent of those under 44 said they would vote or were likely to vote, against 47 percent of those above 60.
14:20 local time: London police has arrested two anti-regime protesters in front of the Iranian embassy in London for throwing paint on those entering or trying to enter to vote. Tension has been building since 9:00 am (London time) when voting began at the embassy. The Iranian embassy has established 11 ballot boxes across Britain where hundreds of thousands of Iranians live. Iran International's Bahareh Khodabandeh reporting on location says around twenty people have so far voted at the embassy and the crowd of angry protesters is growing. Similar rallies in front of Iranian embassies and even clashes with police have been reported from Berlin, Germany, and Stockholm, Sweden.
14:15 local time: Hardline media such as Mashregh News are reporting "disruptions" in voting due to malfunction of electronic equipment. Mashregh claimed in many polling stations voting started late and criticized the interior ministry for not heeding Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's warning in his speech on Tuesday about taking adequate measures to ensure there was no disruption in the voting process. Interior minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli has denied any disruption in the voting process and said votes will be taken offline in case of any problems in electronic voting. In a letter to the Election Propaganda Commission this morning, frontrunner Ebrahim Raisi's campaign claimed there were "numerous reports of serious disruption", presumably propaganda for other candidates, "in various parts of the country".
13:50 local time: Borna news agency has reported that a group of hardliner voters chanted against reformist candidate Mohsen Mehralizadeh who withdrew from the race on Wednesday at Jamaran religious hall in northern Tehran where he cast his vote. In his withdrawal statement, Mehralizadeh said he was withdrawing in order not to "divide the votes" of the opposition. His statement was interpreted as his endorsement of Abdolnaser Hemmati who had a better standing in polls and more support from reformist parties and figures.
13:00 local time: Twitterati claim that most polling stations are deserted unlike those shown by state-controlled TV which are made in crowded polling stations and have posted several videos including a mosque in Karaj as proof.
12:30 local time: Seyed Hassan Khomeini, grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini who dropped his own bid to the presidency in April at Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's request cast his vote. Seyed Hassan Khomeini voted at Hosseinieh Jamaran, a hall for religious ceremonies in northern Tehran where his grandfather made his public speeches. Many reformists eyed the younger Khomeini who has risen to the rank of ayatollah as Iran's next president.
12:25 local time: Deputy Chief of Gilan province police in northern Iran told ISNA Friday that 27 people have been arrested in connection with the elections. He said police detained these individuals for “harming the election” but did not explain what they exactly did. Many citizens in Iran have been campaigning on street corners, behind impromptu microphones, to boycott the vote, tightly controlled by the state. Hossein Hosseinpour, the police official did not say when exactly these citizens were arrested. In recent days, videos were published on social media showing many angry people denouncing the election and in some cases arrests taking place.
12:20 local time: Iran's top negotiator Abbas Araghchi who is in Vienna for nuclear talks with world powers voted at the Iranian embassy. In an interview with Al Jazeera on Thursday, he said participants in the talks were "closer to an agreement than ever before" but added that there were still some fundamental and key issues that needed to be negotiated.
12:00 local time: Former President Mohammad Khatami cast his ballot at Jamaran religious hall in northern Tehran. Khatami who slammed the disqualification of key candidates in late May has not endorsed any candidate by name but in a video published on social media two days ago encouraged people to vote.
11:45 local time: After voting in Turkey where he is attending a summit in Antalya, Foreign Minister Zarif said the best path to change the country's destiny is through ballot boxes and added that the people of Iran have always proved predictions about elections wrong." Zarif also criticized Ottawa for not allowing Iran to establish voting stations in Canada where hundreds of thousands of expatriate Iranians live. Over 3.5 million Iranians who live abroad are eligible to vote according to the Iranian foreign ministry which has set up 133 polling stations at Iranian embassies and consulates across the world.
11:40 local time: Former Central Bank of Iran Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati who is supported by some but not all reformists votes at Hosseinieh Ershad Islamic Hall in northern Tehran along with his wife Sepideh Shabestari. Government officials and candidates often vote at Hosseinieh Ershad or at a mosque in Shahr-e Ray in southern Tehran where foreign media representatives are usually taken to report.
11:30 local time: Mohsen Kadivar, professor of Islamic studies at distinguished US universities who was a well-known reformist in Iran, in a series of tweets early Friday explained why he will not vote in this election. He argued that the Islamic Republic cannot be reformed and it would be useless for critics to participate in its elections. Voting, he said, is to give legitimacy to a system controlled by a supreme leader, which is in essence “Islamic rule”.
11:10 local time: President Hassan Rouhani said Friday morning while voting that officials in charge of the presidential poll “should protect the people’s vote” and added, “God forbid even one vote should not be misplaced…as this has always been the case and should be respected now.” In 2009, massive protests erupted after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of the election within one hour of polls closing, which was a technical impossibility.
11:00 local time: State-controlled broadcaster (IRIB) has been showing people queuing to vote at polling stations including footage of voters queuing at Ghasem Soleimani's shrine in Kerman.
10:30 local time: Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif who arrived in Turkey on Thursday to attend the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF) voted in Antalya.
10:20 local time: Frontrunner Ebrahim Raisi votes at a mosque in southern Tehran.
10:00 local time: So far several high-ranking officials and political figures including President Hassan Rouhani, Secretary of the election watchdog Ayatollah Jannati, former reformist vice president Mohammadreza Aref, and Chairman of the Expediency Council Sadegh Amoli-Larijani have cast their votes. Amoli-Larijani whose brother Ali Larijani was disaualified by the election watchdog said after voting that people must not shun the ballot boxes.
07:20 local time: Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei voted at Emam Khomeini Hosseinieh (hall for religious ceremonies in northern Tehran) as soon as polling started. In a short speech, he appealed to Iranians once again not to shun the ballot boxes. Khamenei said: "Each vote counts...come and vote and choose your president...this is important for the future of your country."