For Immediate Release: September 7, 2006
Contact: Mark Weisbrot, 202-293-5380 x122; 202-746-7264 (cell)
Dan Beeton, 202-293-5380 x 104; 202-256-6116 (cell)
WASHINGTON - More than three weeks after recounting 9 percent of the votes in Mexico’s election, Mexico's electoral authorities yesterday (Wednesday, September 6, 2006) posted numbers which allow for an approximation of the recount totals. The release of the numbers comes after the Electoral Tribunal declared Felipe Calderón of the PAN (National Action Party) to be president-elect.
These numbers indicate that this partial recount resulted in an approximate loss of 2,756 votes for Felipe Calderón of the PAN and a gain of 2,101 votes for Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the PBT.
"It’s hard to think of a legitimate reason for hiding these numbers from the beginning (August 13), and it’s clear that releasing them would have increased the political pressure for a full recount," Mark Weisbrot, co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "And even now they have not informed the public of the complete results of the partial recount."
The numbers are only approximate, and could be significantly different from the actual recount results, because some 234,574 votes in 744 ballot boxes (casillas) were annulled; and some – probably most – of these ballot boxes were subject to recount. In other words, the recount results for ballot boxes that were recounted but also annulled cannot be determined from the information given.
It is also worth noting that the Tribunal has yet to post the results by ballot box of the recounted ballot boxes.1 This is in sharp contrast to previous tallies of the entire vote, which were posted as soon as they were completed.
The arithmetic for approximating the recount results is as follows. According to the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary (TEPJF), we have the following results:
In other words, the only changes made to (A), the original count, are the annulment and the recount. So if we add the final results and the annulled votes together (B + C), the difference between this sum and the original count (A) should be the result of the recount (D). The only caveat, as explained above, is that some of the recounted ballots boxes were annulled.
Although the recount was completed nearly three weeks ago, the TEPJF has refused to release the numbers showing how the candidates' vote totals were changed by the recount. This contrasts sharply to the procedure followed for the preliminary and second vote tallies in July, when the results were made public immediately.
1The results of the recounted ballot boxes are apparently buried in the many thousands of pages of the 375 verdicts [www.trife.org.mx (see “Últimas sentencias dictadas")] in which the Tribunal ruled on the challenges to the election. Based on CEPR’s partial extraction of this data, it would take about 200 hours to gather this information, assuming it is complete.