Election Universe

The 2015 Mexican midterm elections – a snapshot

The 2015 Mexican midterm elections – a snapshot
June 12 2015, 15:35

Mexican voters headed to the polls on Sunday June 7th to vote for 500 seats in the lower house of Congress (Chamber of Deputies), nine of 31 governorships, 641 federal deputies in 17 federal entities, 993 mayor offices in 16 states, and 16 borough heads for the Federal District.

Here we present some interesting facts about the elections:

These were the first major elections held following the approval of the political-electoral reform (2014) that created a new electoral authority: the National Institute of Elections (INE). Mexico seems  to be heading towards a more centralized model of election administration as the INE takes on more responsibilities than its preceeding institution the Federal Election Institute (IFE) .

The independent candidate Jaime Rodriguez Calderon, also known as “El Bronco”, won the northern state of Nuevo Leon. This is an important change because he is the first independent candidate to win a state governorship, and this is Mexico’s second most economically important state. Thanks to the recent electoral reform, this was the first election to allow unaffiliated candidates.

Losing candidates in 17 districts have asked authorities for a vote recount. In Aguascalientes, Baja California, Chihuahua, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Zacatecas, and the DF (Federal District), votes will be recounted and results are expected on Sunday, June 14th.

According to official voting trends released by INE, the president’s party and its allies look set to win between 246 and 263 seats in the lower chamber (the PRI will win around 30% of the vote and see its number of Congressional seats drop slightly). While the opposition conservative National Action Party (PAN) will have around 22% of the vote.

A strong and particularly aggressive campaign by the Green Party, a PRI coalition ally, boosted the party by as many as 20 seats, which could give the ruling party a voting majority for the first time in nearly two decades, according to reports from the BBC.

There were electronic voting trials in districts 02 of Chihuahua, 04 of Hidalgo and 03 of Aguascalientes. INE’s Statistics and Electoral Documentation Director, Gerardo Martínez, explained that electronic voting could generate greater confidence, improve efficiency and timely results as well as it could reduce the costs of future elections in Mexico.

Many states used Preliminary Results Programs to release results while tabulation was being certified by regional authorities.

Unfortunately, these elections were some of the most violent in recent Mexican history. The run-up to the poll was marked by violence with drug cartels blamed for the deaths of several candidates. Furthermore, a dissident teachers’ union burned ballots and ransacked offices of political parties in the south of the country (particularly in Oaxaca and Guerrero states) protesting against education reforms.

Image by maplascencia0 via Pixabay