Very Close Election in Mexico

The LA Times is reporting tonight that the Mexican election is very close, but that it was also one of the best administered elections ever. As the paper notes,

More than 40 million people, or about 60% of the electorate, were expected to vote, according to officials with Mexico’s Federal Election Institute. More than 130,000 polling places have been set up, from within yards of the U.S. border in Tijuana to Indian villages in Chiapas…. Nationwide, only eight polling places failed to open, the best performance ever by Mexico’s electoral system, officials said.

This is not to say there were not allegations of problems. To give two examples from the LA Times:

  • In Oaxaca, groups of striking teachers surrounded a police station, alleging that officers inside had stacks of ballots pre-marked with votes for the candidates backed by Gov. Ulises Ruiz, news agencies reported. For weeks teachers have led a protest movement against the governor.
  • The most common complaint was one voiced by voters in many Mexico City neighborhoods: lines outside polling places stretched for blocks. “I’ve been here for more than an hour, and I haven’t advanced one meter,” said Raul Cordero Lopez, a 42-year-old engineer as he stood in a line with hundreds of voters in southern Mexico City. “It’s totally disorganized. The poll workers got here late.”

If the election remains close and is challenged, it will be interesting to see how such allegations are handled.