20 | MAY | 2019
The mistakes of AMLO’s public consultation
The consultation is being held in more than 500 municipalities, home to about 80 percent of the population - Photo: Taken from Andrés Manuel López Obrador's official Twitter page

The mistakes of AMLO’s public consultation

Mexico City
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Irregularities during the first day of public consultation have led people to question its validity

The public consultation to decide the future of Mexico’s New International Airport has already presented several irregularities that have led people to question the validity of an allegedly democratic exercise in which Mexican citizens were able to vote up to five times each yesterday.

During the first day, a group of reporters from EL UNIVERSAL had the opportunity of visiting polling places in 22 states of the republic and all 16 delegations in Mexico City.
In each of the polling places, the team was able to vote on more than one occasion, despite the organizers’ announcement to implement special controls meant to prevent vote duplications.

How is it possible that each reporter was able to vote two, three, four, and even five times? Neither the indelible ink nor the phone app that the MORENA political party implemented to prevent fraud through a special database seemed to work.

Out of all the 70 reporters from EL UNIVERSAL who voted during the public consultation, 64 were able to vote more than once. In Mexico City alone, the team visited a total of 81 polling places located within all 16 delegations. Reporters were able to duplicate their vote in 75 of them.

As for the rest of the country, out of all 51 voting tables that the team visited, most of which were located in state capitals, it was possible to vote more than once in 49 of them.

This happened in the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Morelos, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, and Yucatán.

Other irregularities

Throughout the first day of the public consultation, the reporters noticed that there were no screens to make the vote secret. Citizens had to vote in front of the “poll workers” for all to see.

The irregularities were pointed out by the organizers of the democratic exercise themselves. In Quintana Roo, for instance, Arturo Abreu, state coordinator of Social Development Programs for the government-elect, admitted that the lack of screens was a mistake: “You know what? The first mistake that we are making is that there is no screen. How am I supposed to vote without being seen?” he expressed when addressing young people who were verifying the information on their voter identification cards.

MORENA workers argued that the flaws were due to the fact that it was only the first day of the democratic exercise. However, in places like Córdoba, Veracruz, there were polling stations in which supervisors did not even have internet access and marking voters’ fingers with ink was made optional.

Despite the irregularities and criticism that followed the first day of voting, the public consultation organizers deemed the democratic exercise “a success,” adding that a total of 184,154 citizens throughout the country had participated, exceeding initial expectations of citizen participation.

Yesterday morning, López Obrador tweeted a video in which he defended the validity of the exercise. “The Mexican people do not make mistakes or, at least, they make less mistakes than its rulers. A decision made by millions is better than a decision made by only one man. Democracy is always the best option, it is a way to move forward […] The will of all citizens shall be respected,” he claimed moments before casting his vote.


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