In the first vote since a popular revolt toppled former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, 98.1 percent of voters supported the newly formed Egyptian constitution in a two-day referendum.

The turnout was lower than some officials had predicted, with only 38.6 percent of the 53 million eligible voters taking part. Such low numbers -— although actually higher than all other referendums held since the removal of Mubarak -— may reflect a general fear that the Islamists would make good on their threat to ruin the election process with acts of terror. Others may have absented themselves out of sheer disappointment in the failure of every election and referendum since the beginning of Hosni Mubarak's rule to improve their daily lives. They may have just expected more of the same, and so couldn't be bothered to participate. Moreover, the referendum was held during student exam week and the long lines may have persuaded some students to study rather than cast their votes.

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