Absentee voting by emigres is long-delayed, sparking steps such as cross-border candidates.
Jennifer Mena, L. A. Times, May 13
In 1996, Mexico granted its citizens who live in the United States the right to cast absentee ballots, instantly creating a bloc of nearly 11 million potential voters.
Eight years later, many of those voters, frustrated that a balloting mechanism hasn’t been created, are restless and rallying for action.
Mexican politicians who reluctantly adopted the voting change have delayed its implementation because “they fear us,” said Santa Ana tax preparer and immigrant activist Guadalupe Gomez. “They fear our economic power and they fear our political power.”
Across the U.S., Mexicans are lobbying their homeland politicians to implement the legislation. Their voices are not easily ignored.
In 2003, as President Vicente Fox points out, Mexicans in the United States sent $12 billion to their families back home — more foreign income than from tourism, foreign investment or exported oil — and, as voters, they would represent 15% of the Mexican electorate.
The government wants the absentee-voting system created by July 5, 2005, so Mexicans living in the United States can vote in their 2006 national elections — a decade after the right was extended to them.
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