Low Turnout for Zimbabwe's 1-Man Poll

Citizens choose bread line over ballot box in meaningless vote
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2008 8:03 AM CDT
A ballot paper is held as Zimbabweans queue on election day in Harare, Friday, June, 27, 2008. Zimbabwe's one-candidate presidential runoff got off to a slow start Friday, contrasting with the sense of...   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Polls are open in Zimbabwe's meaningless presidential runoff vote, with Robert Mugabe running uncontested. Reuters reports that turnout is low several hours into the vote—unlike March's elections, which saw voters wait for hours in snaking lines. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who dropped out earlier this week to prevent further bloodshed, told his supporters that they should abstain, or vote if they thought their lives were in danger.

A reporter in an affluent Harare suburb saw dozens of Zimbabweans standing in line for bread—which now costs 6 billion Zimbabwe dollars, or 150 times more than in March—but almost nobody at a nearby polling station. "I need to get food first and then maybe I can go and vote," said one man. "I heard there could be trouble for those who don't."