Photo: Deposit Photos

By KELIN DILLON

As Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE) attempts to carry out the mandate revocation consultation of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), which could potentially remove the executive from office ahead of the end of his term in 2024 due to loss of public confidence, a number of irregular signatures have been registered with alleged links to AMLO’s leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party.

To proceed with the revocation, the INE will need to acquire the signatures of ​​2.7 million valid registered voters, representing at least 3 percent of the populations of 17 states,. Otherwise, the institute will not be able to proceed with the popular consultation. As of Dec. 15, the INE had received nearly 1.2 million signatures in support of López Obrador ‘s revocation through the mobile application, 33.95 percent of its needed total, while another 2 million signatures that remain to be counted were delivered to the institute on paper.’

For a vote to count, citizens must upload photographs of  both sides of their voting credentials, alongside an at-the-moment picture of their face at the time of voting, as well as their signature. 

Within the collected votes, more than 18.2 percent reportedly have anomalies, including 125 votes purportedly cast by deceased people, pictures of animals uploaded in place of a requisite headshot, and more than 67,000 votes submitted with  invalid photographs, resulting in the dismissal of 12,625 signatures so far.

“People are taking pictures of a dog, objects or they take a picture of the person showing the credential without their face being shown, so we do not know if it is really the person,” said the INE’ Coordinator of Technological Processes Alejandro Andrade. “I do not know how deliberate and malicious this is, but it is a clear misuse of the application.”

Voters have until Dec. 25 to submit their signature on the revocation via paper ballot or via mobile application. If the INE reaches its designated number of signatures, the public vote to potentially remove AMLO from office would take place in April 2022.

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