Election Theft in Mexico?

Here’s the brief sketch of the Mexican election.

First – the exit polls showed that Obrador won. No, this isn’t conclusive, it is possible for exit polls to be wrong. (Though they’ve been wrong rather too often these last few years, shall we say?) Nonetheless, while indicative it is possible for there to be an explanation for this

Second – in a lot of ridings there was negative drop off – which is fancy speak for more ballots that show votes for lower candidates than President. It doesn’t happen that more people vote for local offices and not for President. It is a sure sign of vote tampering – top ballot races drive turnout and races like President get more votes than lesser candidates.

Third – There was a remarkable upswing in votes near the end of the day. This could be explained by the suppostion that northern precincts were reporting last (we don’t know that they were), but it’s odd, because the PRI, whose stronghold is in the North, would then have also received an upwards surge at the end of the day.

As the Narcosphere notes (graph from them as well):

As the latter third of the results came in beginning at 4:44 p.m. on Wednesday, Calderón’s vote percentage began to creep upward as López Obrador’s creeped downward by equal and opposite amounts. During this count of the final 35 percent of the tallies, interestingly, PRI candidate Roberto Madrazo’s percentage remained steadily the same as it had all day (within half-a-percentage point, landing at 22.26 percent) as did that of the also-rans Patricia Mercado and Roberto Campa. All day and night ”“ see the accompanying graph ”“ three candidates remained with their totals in a straight line, but in the final stretch only Obrador and Calderón percentages diverged from the consistency of the first two-thirds of the tallies.

Calderón partisans (including IFE and the mass media) explain the final shift as one of northern Mexican regions coming in last. But Madrazo’s vote, in particular, was uneven nationwide. This was shown by IFE’s PREP results in the breakdown among the five regions by which the vote count was organized.

Madrazo’s regional totals were 24.09 percent in Region 1 (Northern Mexico) and 23.12 percent in region 2 (North-Central Mexico), the regions from where Calderón supposedly got his late surge in Wednesday’s precinct count: nearly one and two points above his national average of 22.26. Had the final tallies in Wednesday’s precinct count really come in from the North and North-Central regions, a statistically significant upward shift would have been registered from Madrazo as well. That it did not casts important doubt upon the claims by IFE and television media that a regional vote saved the day for Calderón at the eleventh hour.

Again, these are from the already discredited PREP results, but it is significant how divergent Madrazo’s tally is region by region, and particularly how he finished higher in the two northern regions than in the combined three central-southern regions. And yet the sudden divergence early Thursday morning between Calderón and Obrador ”“ according to IFE’s still undocumented conclusions ”“ did not statistically change Madrazo’s total as it would have had it mainly come from Calderón’s northern base regions.

Fourth, and most damningly, every report I have found so far of either manual recounts, or of finding original Acta (the signed precinct results) has shown a higher total for Obrador than the amount on the official system. (There may be some the other way, which I’d appreciate hearing about. But as I say, so far, haven’t read of a single one.)

So, was the election stolen?

Yeah, it was. Every indicator for fraud is on “yup”. If they were inconsistent – if some pointed one way, and others the other, then it would be one of those “possibly” like in the US in 2004. (As opposed to the US in 2000, which was definitely.)

But there is one other thing worth pointint out.

There are three parties involved. Obrador got about 40%. Caladeron got about 40%. The PRI got about 20%.

If there were a run off, the majority of PRI voters would probably vote for Calderon, not Obrador.

So – Obrador almost certainly should have won the election. He got a plurality, and he was robbed. However the majority of the population, even after taking into account fraud, did not vote for him and does not want him elected.

And in the end, that’s why Obrador probably won’t go to hardcore violence to overturn the results. If the will of the majority had been violated he would be right to do so. But in this case, it’s questionable. However this has revealed a real and serious split in the country, with 40% of the population believing, correctly, that they were disenfranchised. If Calderon is wise he will offer them some form of compensation and adapt some parts of Obrador’s platform. If he doesn’t, he is sowing the seeds of violence.

Or, if he’s really wise, he’ll realize that the faith of people that their votes are counted is important and call for a full recount. But we all know that won’t happen, so like everyone else we’ll wait to see what happens and how far Obrador is willing to go.

July 17th: edited a sentence to indicate that every recount so far has shown higher total for Obrador, not a lesser one. Oops. – Ian

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Ian Welsh

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  • Associated Press

    MEXICO CITY — Hundreds of thousands of protesters marched through the Mexican capital on Sunday to demand a manual recount in the disputed presidential election, led by a leftist candidate who says fraud cost him the presidency.

    As a precaution, the Roman Catholic Church cancelled Mass at the city’s downtown cathedral as supporters of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador began to overwhelm the central plaza to the sound of firecrackers and bands. Police officials in the pro-Lopez Obrador city government estimated the crowd at 900,000.

    Conservative candidate Felipe Calderon, of President Vicente Fox’s National Action Party, won by about 244,000 votes in the official count after the July 2 election.

    Lopez Obrador’s Democratic Revolution Party has appealed to the federal electoral court to overturn the official count, alleging illicit government and corporate help for Calderon, ballot stuffing and other irregularities. The former Mexico City mayor says he will stop the protests only if there is a ballot-by-ballot recount.

    National Action has also filed its own challenges, seeking to stretch Calderon’s tiny vote advantage. Calderon has said he believes is no legal basis for a complete recount, and has called on Lopez Obrador to respect official vote tallies.

    Lopez Obrador supporters such as Xochitl Luna compared the situation to the fraud-stained 1988 election lost by leftist candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas and said they were ready for a long struggle.

    “We could be here six more years,” said the 43-year-old unemployed secretary, referring to the presidential term.

    “In 1988 we were ready to take up sticks and stones,” she said. “Today we are prepared to fight with ideas.”

    Marchers carried banners that proclaimed “No To Fraud!” as well as pictures of Calderon with a slash and the slogan: “It won’t happen.”

    Fox ended the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s 71 year stranglehold on the presidency in the 2000 election. Mexico’s constitution limits presidents to one six-year term and he leaves office Dec. 1.

    Top Lopez Obrador adviser Ricardo Monreal said the July 2 election means that Mexico’s fledging democracy is already faltering.

    “If another abuse, another (electoral) theft is confirmed,” he said, “Mexico will never have clean elections again.”

    Some of Lopez Obrador’s devoted followers have lit votive candles outside his campaign headquarters.

    “He is the most marvelous man in the world,” said Eugenia Leal, a 70-year-old retired school teacher who collects a pension thanks to a city program instituted by Lopez Obrador. “I’m willing to follow him from here to the death, or wherever he orders.”

    The dispute threatens to further divide Mexico along geographic and class lines. Lopez Obrador won in the mainly poor southern states, while Calderon swept most of the more-affluent north and northwest.

    Lopez Obrador may never recognize Calderon as a legitimate president, setting up six years of sparring and protests that could threaten Mexico’s political and economic stability.

    The stock market and currency have swung widely in recent weeks as investors weigh the outcome of the dispute.

    Calderon is building a transition team and planning a nationwide victory tour, even though his victory isn’t official until the elections court issues a final decree by Sept. 6.

    School teacher Ezequiel Torres, 53, said Lopez Obrador “represents hope.”

    “The right is capable of calling the army into the streets against the public,” he said. “The people are tired, fed up, beaten by all that has been done by globalization governments. We want to undo everything that Fox has done.”

    Globe and Mail

  • vote- where the anti-Chavez people claimed it was mathematically impossible to have the exit polls differ so much from the final tally-
    but no full recount was done and Jimmy Carter pronouced the tally “clean”. So the Chavez opponents had to content themselves
    with going to Bush et al to get more money for their efforts:-)


    “at some point I’m hopeful I’ll figure out something to put here”

  • may have the most number of votes in the election? There obviously were some irregularities, but that could be said to be true of any election regardless of the country where elections are held.

    What gets me is they have paper ballots…why on earth don’t they just recount them and put an end to the rumours? That just seems like the logical thing to do. Surely it wouldn’t take more than one week to recount the 41 million ballots. It took less than 3 days to count them initially. Recounting stops the peso from devaluing and protects the economy as well as gives closure to the Mexican election process. (Well for everyone except conspiracy theorists–nothing satisfies them except their own fantasies!)

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