Even before the 1st round of the so-called Egyptian Presidential Elections, many (myself included) had called for a boycott, many others called for invalidating ballots. However, because many voters, including most revolutionaries found at least one candidate they believed in, many did in fact go and vote. Hamdeen had genuine fans, as did Aboul Fotouh, etc.
This reality changed dramatically with the 2nd round of elections as many people, disillusioned with the results of the 1st round quickly joined the ranks of those calling for a boycott, many simply didn’t like the results, which left them forced to choose between handing Egypt over to the Muslim Brotherhood, or effectively betraying the revolution entirely and surrendering the country back to the old regime, represented by Ahmed Shafiq.
So the call for the boycott grew, not only that, but many citizens, despite not formally calling themselves boycotters, actually did abandon the process, becoming de-facto boycotters simply because they had lost all hope in the so-called ‘democratic’ process. They decided that the game was now between the old regime and the Muslim Brotherhood, and they simply were no longer interested in taking part.
This became clear when the first day of the run-off elections came upon us and the polling stations were seen to be much emptier than they had been in the previous round.
It should be noted that even in the first round of the presidential elections, the turnout figures had been dramatically reduced in relation to the turnout at the parliamentary elections a few months ago. The numbers had already dropped from 62% down to around 46% – indicating a 16% effective boycott, or around 7 million Egyptians – all of whom had previously participated, but no longer wanted to be involved.
Now – in the afternoon of the 1st day of the run-off, the Lawyers Syndicate estimated the turnout to be less than 15% –
Journalists & Bloggers who took pictures of polling stations also indicate a very low turnout –
لجنة مدرسة قصر الدوبارة فاضية وتقريبا هيبتدوا يحطوا منادي في الشارع زي بتاع موقف السرفيس ...نفر واحد انتخابات نفر واحد انتخابات— ω∂⌊∈∈d Π∂d∂♔ (@iWeLLy) June 17, 2012
@Darawy1 أي حد لجنة 30 في المعادي ينزل فورا اللجنة فاضية— Kamel Elsayed (@KamelMElsayed) June 16, 2012
Just passed by a polling station in Heliopolis. It's 6:12 pm. Almost empty.— The Big Pharaoh (@TheBigPharaoh) June 17, 2012
My polling station was very empty. And very lax. I didn't even put my finger in the ink. Had to sign beside my name though.— The Big Pharaoh (@TheBigPharaoh) June 16, 2012
At Magles el Dawla polling station. Empty except for mil police & a 2 or 3 ppl going in & out. Last time ppl tell me it was packed. #Egypt— Reem Abdellatif (@Reem_Abdellatif) June 16, 2012
Reports were coming in from people in Suez, that the turnout there did not exceed 4% – FOUR percent, and that to their surprise, soldiers from the third army division in Suez were actually knocking on people’s homes, asking them to go vote. The turnout was that low.
A lawyer stationed in a polling station in Gharbeya, said that of 5,000 registered voters in his polling station, only 200 had shown up. That, again, is around 4%.
In fact, the turnout was so low that people were discussing whether or not it was because of the weather, citing the heat as being a possible reason for the low turnout, as though Egypt did not function normally under such temperatures, as though hot summers were not the norm in Egypt.
A worker who came to do some work at my apartment, and who had gone to invalidate his vote on the second day of the run-off elections told me that, while leafing through the registration book to sign his name, all the preceding pages were mostly empty. He said he saw one or two signatures every 3 or 4 pages, and that on his page, where he signed, his was literally the only signature on the page.
The turnout was so low – that the Shorouq Newspaper had a huge headline proclaiming (after the 1st day of the run-off elections) that the ‘Boycott had won’ –
Despite all this, we are now being told that over 25 million Egyptian went out to vote!
If you look at TV footage from ONTV – where they had a split-screen showing polling stations from across Egypt – this is what you see –
Look at it carefully, the Suez station is empty, as are the ones in Sharqeya, Alexandria, North Sinai, Port Said, and Ismaileya. At most you see one or two voters.
Now it’s not as though we had an overabundance of polling stations. There were, apparently, around 13,000 polling stations. If you consider that eligible voters were estimated to be around 51 million (magically up from around 41 million during the parliamentary elections held only a few months ago) – then that’s around 4000 voters per polling station. So if 51% went, then we’re talking around 2000 voters per station on average. Which means they must’ve had 166 votes per hour – over two days – that’s about 83 voters per hour. Which means that they must’ve all looked pretty full most of the time. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Sadly, neither one of the leading candidates wants to contest the actual turnout figures, since they each want to claim as many voted in their favor as possible. The only loser in this falsification is Egypt, and the will of its’ people. This was an effective boycott, and they are lying about the turnout figures.