Mexico’s Elections: It Ain’t Over Until…
July 17, 2012

Denial Of Vote In Mexico

A woman complaining that she is being denied her right to vote because, supposedly, they ran out of ballots. It's in Spanish, but her indignation is pretty clear...

Just when you thought Mexico’s elections were over, more and more stories of wrongdoing and out-and-out fraud keep surfacing.

Now, there may be some statistics to back it up.

Some mathematicians examining election results have found interesting anomalies that suggest PRD’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador received more votes than the declared winner, the PRI’S Enrique Peña Nieto.

But, if you look at the last poll by Reforma, one of the most respected newspapers in Mexico, it had Peña Nieto beating Lopez Obrador by 10 points. He eventually won by about seven points, which is within the margin of error.

Just saying ...

Talk of buying votes with supermarket gift cards, collusion between television giants and vast overspending by the PRI have all been shouted out online as reasons for an investigation. All valid points.

But the most disturbing issue comes from videos circling the Internet showing people being denied their right to vote because the polling station, supposedly, ran out of ballots. There is one posted above; it seems authentic.

Electioneering is a time-honored tradition in democracies — it even happens in the U.S. But denying someone the right to vote — which was baked into U.S. law as recently as the 1960s — that’s disenfranchisement. And it threatens the very foundation of governance, especially in a nascent democracy like Mexico’s.

t when you thought Mexico’s elections were over, more and more stories of wrongdoing and out-and-out fraud keep surfacing.

Now, there may be some statistics to back it up.

Some mathematicians examining election results have found interesting anomalies that suggest PRD’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador received more votes than the declared winner, the PRI’S Enrique Peña Nieto.

But, if you look at the last poll by Reforma, one of the most respected newspapers in Mexico, it had Peña Nieto beating Lopez Obrador by 10 points. He eventually won by about seven points, which is within the margin of error.

Just saying ...

Talk of buying votes with supermarket gift cards, collusion between television giants and vast overspending by the PRI have all been shouted out online as reasons for an investigation. All valid points.

But the most disturbing issue comes from videos circling the Internet showing people being denied their right to vote because the polling station, supposedly, ran out of ballots. There is one posted above; it seems authentic.

Electioneering is a time-honored tradition in democracies — it even happens in the U.S. But denying someone the right to vote — which was baked into U.S. law as recently as the 1960s — that’s disenfranchisement. And it threatens the very foundation of governance, especially in a nascent democracy like Mexico’s.

If there is to be a true and honest investigation — which may be too much to ask for — of the presidential results in Mexico, it needs to start with the allegations that people were denied their right to vote. Plus, the government has direct responsibility over poll workers and their actions.

Everything else may just be academic.