By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
It was bad enough that Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) much-touted public consulta (referendum) on Sunday, Aug. 1, to decide whether to prosecute his predecessors for their alleged misdeeds was a total disaster in terms of turnout (early estimates put eligible voter participation at between 7.07 and 7.74 percent; the final count was 7.11 percent), but now it seems that the pathetic electoral process was also corrupt.
According to a report in the Argentine-based Latin American news website Infobae, electoral observers from the centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Mexico’s eastern state of Veracruz produced a video showing the in-power leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party apparently stuffing ballots into voting boxes.
In the video, three women, presumably government officials, are seen tearing and folding ballots, and then placing them into the voting urns.
As the camera pans left, the video shows more government officials at a stone’s throw away counting ballots.
Not surprisingly, it turned out that there were about 20 percent more votes cast in Veracruz than there were participants.
The PRI has asked the National Electoral Institute (INE) to investigate the alleged ballot falsifications.
And for its part, Morena has decided to bring legal action against the INE and some of its members for not promoting the referendum enough.
Could the results of AMLO’s ill-fated public referendum possibly get any worse?