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Vote from abroad

Mexicans living abroad could have a decisive influence in the 2018 General Election since there are 300,000 Mexicans living outside the country
The flyer reads "Mexico is where you are" - Photo: Carlos Mejía/EL UNIVERSAL
17/01/2018
13:56
Carina García
Mexico City
-A +A

Mexicans living abroad could have a decisive influence in the 2018 General Election since 300,000 Mexicans living outside the country will be able to take their vote to the polls in 2018, which, in a narrow polling lead, could define the winner of the Presidential election. However, that figure is a mere goal bearing in mind that in the 2012 General Election, only 40,737 Mexicans took their vote to the polls from abroad.

At least 509,667 Mexicans have already started the process to obtain their voter ID from abroad, yet only those who currently own their voter ID and who are registered in the Register of Mexican Residents Abroad (LINERE) will be able to vote. To date, only 11,881 people have completed the process which began on September 1.

In July 2018, Mexican citizens will vote for the next President of the Mexican Republic, members of Congress Chamber, and state Governors (Mexico City Mayor, Chiapas, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos, Puebla, and Yucatán).

Despite the numbers, the National Electoral Institute (INE) is optimistic, "we are confident that the launched campaigns will result in an increasing interest in completing the process to both obtain a voter ID from abroad and fulfill the LINERE registration, there is still time", explains the counselor Enrique Andrade González, President of the Temporary Committee of the Voting of Mexican Residents Abroad.

INE has until March 31, 2018 to boost credentialing and LINERE registration, thus it has been installing information modules at airports and bus terminals since December, it has joined forces with Local Electoral Organisms (OPLs) responsible for the elections in 7 entities, and even an app was developed to provide an easy access to the LINERE registration online.

Even though half a million Mexicans living abroad already have their voter ID, it remains a marginal figure considering that the Mexican diaspora exceeds 12 million people in the United States alone.

voto_en_el_extranjero.jpg
Photo: Jorge Medina/EL UNIVERSAL

For the 2006 General Election voting outside the country became a reality for Mexican citizens, yet Mexico’s foreign vote project has not been able to attract the participation of the majority of their citizens living out of the country, plus there were cumbersome requirements, such as one forcing citizens to fulfill the LINERE registration to Mexico via post.

The 2006 cumbersome model of Mexico’s foreign vote project resulted in 40,876 registrations and 32,632 actual voters. Six years later, in 2012, there were 59,115 registrations and 40,737 voters.

Thus, in 2014 the electoral reform sought a change with a more accessible voting model and three years after the reform, and almost two years after credentialing abroad began, the results portray little more than half a million voter ID cards and a simplified model, which combines online enrollment in LINERE or by phone through MEXITEL, yet it preserves the use of postal-vote envelope.

More information in Spanish on Mexico’s foreign vote project

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