Egyptians Hit the Voting Booth

On the third anniversary of the start of the Arab Spring, voters in Egypt are heading to the polls for a two-day referendum on a revised constitution. Some conservative Muslim groups, including the ousted Muslim Brotherhood (now deemed a terrorist organization), have called for a boycott in hopes that low turnout will strike a political blow to General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi and the ruling military. While thousands of soldiers and police officers have been positioned to protect voters, an explosion took place near a courthouse before voting started. The proposed constitution is not radically different from that approved under ousted President Mohammed Morsi. However, the document provides for increased religious freedom, women’s rights, and authority for the military, judiciary, and police.