Rouhani is still seen as the front-runner, but he faces a tougher than expected challenge from Raisi, who has rallied religious traditionalists and working-class voters disillusioned with the stagnant economy.
For younger, particularly urban Iranians, many of whom want more democracy and social freedoms nearly 40 years after the Islamic Revolution, Rouhani is the sole choice, even if it is one they're likely to make without real enthusiasm.
Mr Rouhani voted about an hour later. I was young and inexperienced then. And remarkably, he directly told voters: "I'll need votes higher than 51% in order to do certain things". "Now, we (still) don't have freedom and don't have jobs". "I'm voting for Rouhani to try to save my dignity", he said. "My kids can not eat freedom", the municipality employee said in the northern city of Rasht.
Seyyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of Imam Khomeini, who is the custodian of Imam Khomeini's shrine in the southern outskirts of Tehran, was among the figures who cast their votes at Jamaran Hosseinieh. Inflation has dropped to single digits but unemployment is still rising.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei casts vote in the presidential election at a polling station in Tehran May 19, 2017.
Rouhani, known for decades as a mild-mannered establishment insider rather than a gung-ho reformer, has taken on the mantle of the reform camp in recent weeks, with fiery campaign speeches that attacked the human rights records of his opponents.
"The next president should not be someone who makes the enemies happy when he is elected", said Kermani, who is an adviser to Khamenei. Hardliners dominating the judiciary and security services have stood in the way, his defenders say.
The election is being widely viewed as a referendum on the 2015 nuclear deal led by Rouhani's administration. In this regard, many political experts are anxious that the promise of money might influence the voters in the polls.
The Associated Press spent time with two young Iranians, both 32-year-old parents living in Tehran's less-affluent outskirts who support opposing candidates, to understand what matters to them.
More than 30 percent of Iran's 80 million population are under age 30 and women comprise more than half the population.
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Many pro-reform voters are still lukewarm Rouhani supporters, disappointed with the slow pace of change during his first term.
An example is Kourosh Sedgi, a 25-year-old student in the central city of Isfahan. Reformist-Activist Mostafa Tajzadeh was quoted by FP, saying that although he is anxious that promise of cash might influence the poor and unemployed voters, he also points out how the Iranian middle-class and liveral voters are unenthusiastic about the elections.
"I am disappointed with Rouhani".
Yasmin Mehregan, a 29-year-old lawyer, said of Mr Raisi: "For a woman like me it will be awful".
Under the Islamic Republic's law, men can divorce their spouses far more easily than women, while custody of children over the age of seven automatically goes to the father. "Rouhani's policies over the past four years have endangered our Islamic Revolution". However, Iran's sluggish economy and poverty remain the top issues for average Iranians who have yet to see the benefits of the atomic accord. Raisi who is a conservative and was allegedly involved in a mass execution in 1988, also reportedly has the support of two clerical bodies, which has major influence on voters.
Sidelined by the nuclear deal, the Guards hope that a Raisi victory would let them claw back economic and political clout lost in the complex theocratic and republican power structure.
Nabizadeh in particular hopes Iran can be less cut off from the rest of the world.
"Everyone should vote in this important election".
Raisi's focus on domestic economic stimuli points to incremental Iranian gas output being directed inward to state-subsidized industries including Iran's petrochemicals and agricultural sectors. Some critics say this is created to protect politically connected domestic businesses.
"I will vote because I don't want Raisi to be elected".
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