Elections Are Over

And they left a lot scars
BY: SANTIAGO VERDUGO

Mexico’s nine month election season finally climaxed in an orgy of payoffs, assassinations, fake news posted on social media, and harsh charges hurled back and forth.

Last Sunday voters elected a new president, 128 senators for a six year term, and 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies for a period of three years. This was the biggest election in Mexico’s history, with more than 3,000 seats up for contention, more than ever, and most of those were cities.

Here are just a few ways this election is different than what we’re used to

One candidate has never been seen and won’t say where he is. Luis Avellaneda ran his entire campaign for mayor of Pungarabato, Guerrero over the internet. He does admit he’s out of state and says his ghost act is in fear of being assassinated. How he’s going to govern from hiding has not been discussed.

None of the presidential candidates took in a single peso from any of the 90 million registered voters. This brings up the problem of possibly funding their campaigns with dark money. In their mandatory financial filings the three front runners said they all have been funded by their party. There was one independent running, the first independent to ever run for president. He lost badly.

Thousands of ballots were stolen in two southern states. One stolen batch ended in a big bon fire. Most stolen ballots were to be used for municipal elections. Security was stepped up. Here in Cabo several polling places ran out of ballots. Yes, people need to pre register they just didn’t count up the total.

One-third of voters polled were offered something for their vote, 17% said no. Those who agreed to sell their vote that the transaction was not binding, so no actual conditions had been placed on them. They may or may not have held up their end of the bargain once they stepped into the voting booth.

The poll also broke down vote-buying by political party: 21.5% responded that “all the parties” had made offers, while 5.9% identified the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and its coalition allies as the buyer. Another 5.5% said the left-right For Mexico In Front coalition (Anaya), had tried to buy their vote.

Almost, (final tally isn’t in yet), 140 candidates were assassinated, which freaked out just over 1000 candidates who threw down their lawn signs and fled. Well, Mexicans don’t actually have lawn signs, but those candidates withdrew. 10 days before the election the federal government stepped in declaring every candidate would have federal officers guarding him or her, and that this protection could not be turned down.

Meanwhile, eight journalists were assassinated. Where were their body guards? They didn’t get any, we all know journalists are expendable.