A 29-year-old voter, Ali Boushehri, said he was frustrated with both sides.
"I hold the government accountable for many of our shortcomings in Kuwait, and that is why I am voting," he said. "I don't agree with the opposition. Boycotting is not a good thing to do ... I want to vote because I believe in democracy."
A businessman, Khaled al-Qahtani, 38, decided to join the boycott even though he also has misgivings about Islamists. Many liberals have joined the unusual alliance of convenience with Islamists over their shared anger against the ruling system, but remain far apart on ideology.
Islamists and their backers "aren't to be trusted with the future of Kuwait, so I don't support them," said al-Qahtani. "Although, sadly, the government lost the support of many others by failing the people repeatedly."
The region's popular uprisings have not spilled over to Kuwait in a major way as in nearby Bahrain, and it remains unlikely opposition groups would wage an all-out challenge to the current system and risk losing the generous cradle-to-grave benefits provided by the state.
But clashes last month between protesters and security forces displayed the potential for violence to escalate.
Kuwait also was hit by a wave of labor unrest and strikes earlier this year, including walkouts that grounded the state carrier, Kuwait Airways, and temporarily closed customs posts and left several hundred trucks stranded at the border.
Calls for better working conditions have grown louder in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings. Kuwaitis are used to well-paid government jobs and benefits that increasingly have become a burden on state finances despite the country's huge oil wealth.
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