We now have a very patient and thorough examination of every charge made against Iran's 2009 election that I've ever seen along with explanations of the evidence available to address those charges. Iran's electoral process as it was conducted in 2009 is actually extremely transparent.
From now on I'll be directing complaints against that election or assertions that the election results do not reflect the will of the Iranian people at that time to this web page. I strongly recommend everyone interested in Iran's election read it in full.
IntroductionMy take is that the single most important point Brill raises, that is not fully appreciated by Western critics of Iran's election, is that every ballot box result has been released. Brill shows how difficult it is to support the early claims of voter fraud in the face of the publication of ballot box level results.
Many Westerners have insisted that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stole Iran's 2009 presidential election from Mir-Hossein Mousavi. The post-election battle has been cast as courageous Truth confronting arrogant Power. Yet no one has come forward with a credible, evidence-backed account of electoral fraud. What if, on this narrow but important question, it turns out to have been courage confronting Power and Truth – the election was valid and fair?
No credible evidence published so far indicates that Ahmadinejad stole Iran's 2009 presidential election – or, for that matter, that any fraud at all occurred. The second point is important because many commentators have grudgingly accepted Ahmadinejad's legitimacy only because his margin was large enough that they believe he would have won even without cheating. Nearly as telling, there appears to have been no serious effort by Mousavi or his supporters to find such evidence. Shortly after the election, Mousavi claimed in his newspaper (Kaleme) that 10 million people had voted without showing proper identification, but his complaint to the Guardian Council mentioned only 31 such voters. Widespread ballot-box stuffing was alleged, but not a single stuffed ballot box has been identified. Wholesale buying and selling of votes was alleged, but Mousavi has identified only four instances, in each case without any evidence. Thousands or millions of Mousavi votes were said to have been thrown away, replaced by thousands or millions of Ahmadinejad votes, but no one has identified any of the perpetrators, nor mentioned exactly where or how this was accomplished. Vote counts from the field, approved in writing by tens of thousands of Mousavi's observers, were said to have been altered by the Interior Ministry in Tehran, but no one has identified a single ballot box where this occurred – even though the data have long been available to compare the counts for all 45,692 ballot boxes. The silence of Mousavi's polling station observers is especially deafening. Most or all of them may believe that electoral fraud occurred all over Iran, but apparently each is equally adamant that it did not occur where he spent election day.