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Not voting is more costly for Mexico

If the 83.6 million registered voters went to the polls, the average cost of each vote would be US$6.5. However, if the same trend as in 2003 and 2009 midterm elections is repeated, less than 40 million Mexicans will vote today.
Archive / EL UNIVERSAL
07/06/2015
11:15
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If elections are expensive, failing to vote costs even more. Since the electoral campaigns began experts warned that abstention will be the big winner on today's elections.

In an ideal scenario, if the 83.6 million registered voters went to the polls today, the average cost of each vote would be 103 pesos (US$6.5). However, this scenario is unrealistic. If the same trend as in 2003 and 2009 midterm elections is repeated, less than 40 million Mexicans will vote today. This means the ballot cost will rise from 103 to 249 pesos (US$15.8) each, according to calculations of EL UNIVERSAL data unit.

Paradoxically, six years ago 140,239 ballot boxes were installed, compared with 148,910 for today's elections. 

EL UNIVERSAL recently published  that the elections will cost 8.58 billion pesos (US$558 million), considering the budget of the National Electoral Institute (INE) to organize the elections, the campaign expenses of political parties and the budget for the Federal Electoral Court (TEPJF) and the Prosecutor's Office for Electoral Crimes (Fepade). 

Various factors such as the recent violence, the threats of the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) in states like Michoacán and Guerrero or the match between the national soccer teams of Mexico and Brazil have been subject of debate among political actors for their likely effect on voter turnout. 

Although one of the most important objectives of the 2012 Electoral Reform was to reduce the cost of elections, the ten political parties received 5.2 billion pesos (US$330.9 million) this year, of which 1.17 billion pesos (US$74.65 million) were used for campaigns. 

"Mexico is too generous, there is no other country in Latin America where political parties receive such a high subsidy," said Javier Aparicio, professor of the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE). 

In other countries, like the United States, political parties have to raise their own funds. In Aparicio's opinion political parties should be able to survive with the contributions of their members instead of using the government subsidy.

Moreover, a lot of resources are invested in shielding electoral authorities. 

 

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