L.C.C. Maye Verduzco Chaires for JoinUs without Borders, reprinted with permission
In the midst of an unprecedented political scenario with campaigns immersed in the pandemic of the century, it is important to learn about the parties, their origins, and the effect of their participation in the 2021 electoral process, deemed to be the largest in Mexico’s democratic history.
On June 6th, 21,368 positions will be up for dispute. This includes complete renewal of 500 seats in the House of Representatives,15 governorships, 30 local congresses, and leaders of 1,900 municipalities. *NOTE: June 6th is DRY LAW across the country, which in many parts of Mexico has been extended to include June 5th.
The 2020-2021 electoral process represents challenges of great magnitude for the democratic history of our country. This will not only be the largest number of positions ever elected, but we also face unprecedented problems in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with it, the need to maintain sanitary measures on election day in states across the country.
There will be both federal and local elections in Mexico’s 32 states this year, where various popularly elected positions will be renewed, among which 15 federal governorships and federal representatives stand out.
States with governorships, local councils and municipal leadership up for election include: Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chihuahua, Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tlaxcala and Zacatecas.
On the other hand, states where only local congresses and mayors will be elected are: Mexico City, Chiapas, State of Mexico, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tabasco, Veracruz and Yucatán. The states of Coahuila, Quintana Roo, and Tamaulipas will only hold elections for municipal leadership, while in Aguascalientes, Durango, and Hidalgo, only local congress is up for election.
This year, 300 house representatives will be elected by the principle of relative majority, that is, those who will be elected with citizen votes, and 200 representatives by proportional representation derived from direct assignments by the participating political parties. The distribution of these corresponds to the number of votes obtained at the polls per party; the more votes they register, the more representation they will have.
MEASURE OF FORCE
Currently, the Morena party has a historic number of legislators, with 338 federal representatives. Of these, 320 were part of the coalition “Juntos Haremos Historia” (Together We Will Make History), with members of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), Labor Party (PT), Social Encounter (PES), the Green Party, (PVEM) and five independent parties. This provides them a foundation with the ability to approve the laws of what the President deems the “Fourth Transformation”.
Undoubtedly, renewal of the House of Representatives is where the turning point of this election lies. Representatives are in charge of assigning the expenditure budget for the Federation, legislation, modification and repeal of articles in the Mexican Constitution, and other substantial aspects such as appointment of officials of the National Electoral Institute (INE). This latter point is currently in vogue due to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s discrediting of those who today make up the INE. Given issues like these, and many others of economic and social impact, the President will seek to strengthen the representation of his party and the elite parties akin to his movement.
Another field where the complexity of this election is shown, and that will serve to measure forces, is that of the 15 governorships at stake. The results will show how much support Andrés Manuel López Obrador retains after his first two years as President and the so-called Fourth Transformation or, on the contrary, how much ground the opposition will recover. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has the most at stake since it currently holds 8 of the 15 governorships up for election.
In Sonora, there are 106 positions under political dispute: the governorship, 33 representatives from the state’s 21 districts, plus 12 from proportional representation, in addition to 72 mayors. Electoral races to be voted on in Puerto Peñasco on June 6th include those for mayor, governor, and district representative, among others.
The General Council of the National Electoral Institute (INE) approved modalities of mail-in and electronic voting via Internet so that Mexicans living abroad can exercise their right to vote in the 2020-2021 Local Electoral Processes.
In an extraordinary virtual session, the plenary session endorsed guidelines for both voting modalities and learned of the favorable audit reports on the Electronic Voting System via Internet for Mexicans Residing Abroad, carried out by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Deloitte company.
INE President, Lorenzo Córdova Vianello, underscored “the route is drawn out and the route is electronic voting over the Internet”. Therefore, this agreement “is a foray into the electoral system in the foreseeable future of democracy”, which will be of great utility to create the certainty existing today that must be preserved.
Córdova Vianello mentioned that for the elections, Mexican expats living abroad will be able to vote for the governorships of Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Nayarit, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas; a migrant representative for Mexico City, and a proportional representative for the state of Jalisco, noting “to achieve this, General Council approved two modalities of remote voting, the traditional postal route and electronic voting over the Internet”
By virtue of constitutional reforms carried out in 1993, and having left behind various systems to qualify elections, it now corresponds to the National Electoral Institute (INE) to declare the validity of elections for representatives and senators. The INE is also responsible for granting certificates of majority, and assignment of first minority senators; it is also responsible for declaring the validity and assignment of representatives according to the principle of proportional representation.
It is worth mentioning that declaration of election validity, granting of certificates, and the assignment of representatives and senators is all susceptible to being challenged before the regional chambers of the Electoral Court of the Judicial Branch of the Federation.