Improbable voter turnout, trend hint at stolen Iran elections: Report

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Tehran, June 23 (ANI): An analysis report on Iran's controversial presidential election has found instances of greater than 100 percent turnout in some provinces, and enormous voting percentages in other provinces, indicating that the Iranian elections may have been stolen.

A report by the Chatham House in London and the Institute of Iranian Studies at St. Andrew's University in Scotland, shows that official Iranian election data raises many key questions about the June 12 vote.

The report, "Preliminary Analysis of the Voting Figures in Iran's 2009 Presidential Election," found instances of greater than 100 percent turnout in two provinces, and it also found an improbable 90 percent turnout in four other provinces.

The researchers found a pattern of voting widely at odds from past Iranian elections, including a surge in support for Ahmadinejad in rural areas, where conservative candidates were deeply unpopular in Iran's 1997, 2001, and 2005 elections.

"That the countryside always votes conservative is a myth. The claim that this year Ahmadinejad swept the board in more rural provinces flies in the face of these trends," the Christian Science Monitor quoted the authors, as saying.

The paper further says that, while in past elections, there were considerable differences in turnout from province to province, these regional differences declined sharply in the latest election.

"The data seems to suggest that regional variations in participation have suddenly disappeared," the authors wrote.

"This makes the lack of any sort of direct relationship between the provinces that saw an increase in turnout and those that saw a swing to Ahmadinejad all the more unusual," they added.

Meanwhile, protestors continued to take to the streets of Tehran on Monday, though in small groups, harried by riot police and helicopters.

Iran's highest elected authority, the Guardian Council, admitted on Monday to electoral "irregularities" in 50 of the nation's 366 districts, but insisted that these problems were minor and did not effect the outcome of the election. (ANI)

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