Thursday, July 06, 2006

voto nulo 2006 = hanging chad 2000

AMLO is grasping at straws, akin to the U.S. Democrats in 2000. Remember how they figured that Florida was the key in the electoral count and thought that if the vote totals could be recalculated and the questionable ballots counted, then they would win (under assumption that people not competent enough to punch their ballots correctly would be disproportionately representative of Gore supporters). Well, Lopez Obrador seems to be making similar assumptions.

In Mexico, what would be akin to hanging chads would be paper ballots known as these are known as "votos nulos." Each precinct is required to report these nullified votes along with the totals for each candidate. Let me describe the process by which a vote becomes nullified. After the polls close, and the precinct workers move to the counting stage, ballots are put into piles: this one for the PRI, that one for the PAN, the other for the PRD, etc. Observers from the three major parties watch to make sure that each ballot gets into the correct pile, then they count each pile again. The "votos nulos" form their own pile, and the observers must agree that is the best classification for each of those votes. Their total is usually less than one percent of all votes cast in the precinct. The usual reason for declaring a vote null is that the voter had marked more than one name.

On Sunday at the three precincts voting at my home, I observed no arguments over the dozen or so votes declared null.


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