The Iranian election this year turned out to be a hot item both inside Iran, and for Iranians living abroad. On this site, we have heard many arguments from people who claim voting is a waste of time. We heard every reason why they wouldn’t vote except laziness and a general apathy, and the simple explanation that nagging behind the computer is easier than riding your car to a polling station.
But elections are very important, and the hot debates are just a reflection of that undeniable fact. Voting is a right that people of Iran have earned with their blood through the revolution, and the hardship of defending it for 30 years against all odds. The desire for independence and democratic aspiration of Iranians was conceived some 100 years ago in Constitutional Revolution; it was then aborted; was reborn stronger; was stifled again by foreign interference and a coup d’etat; and finally it was brought to fruition through much stronger massive participation of Iranians of every class in the Islamic Revolution. Now that the country is better established against foreign interventions, the internal democratic process is reaching a new phase of maturation and openness. This phase is manifesting itself in the presidential debates of the tenth period in which “negative campaigning” started to showcase hidden dirty laundry of high officials for the first time in full view of the Iranian public. All ugliness of negative campaigning aside; some possible unfair accusations aside; still this new open political debate ushers a fantastic evolution of Iranian democracy. Most people correctly feel empowered by the election, and except for a small fringe of older generation of Iranians who are bitterly stuck in their personal past, overwhelming majority of Iranians will actually vote.
Large number of Iranian Americans want to participate in the election this year, in particular after hearing the presidential debates. This has prompted the embassy to make the voting process easy by establishing many voting sites throughout the US, and accepting a passport or a birth certificate. Furthermore, since many Iranians have not renewed their passports on time for election and time is short for a renewal, they would be able to vote and renew their passports later! If you are interested in voting in a place near you, please check:
If you don’t have a valid passport, it seems that you can still vote and renew your passport later.