The Mexican federal Electoral Tribunal–the independent court of last resort in election disputes–ordered a partial recount of the presidential ballots. The seven magistrates unanimously rejected the calls of AndrÃ©s Manuel LÃ³pez Obrador, who trailed by about half a percent in the preliminary count, for a recount of all ballots. LÃ³pez Obrador, in turn, rejected the ruling and promises to continue civil disobedience.
The Tribunal’s order calls for the re-opening of ballots boxes from 11,839 polling places (about 9% of the total) where arithmetic errors have been found in the count reports filed with the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) on election night.
See also the LA Times story, which includes some discussion of the background of election procedures in Mexico. For example:
Recounts must be based on evidence specific to a poll station, said Justice Alfonsina Navarro, not broad suspicion.
Chief Magistrate Leonel Castillo, arguing against a full recount, said Mexicans had already counted the vote in a system that gives ordinary citizens the job of running the national election.
Mexican polling stations are operated by trained volunteers, and the votes are counted in front of political party representatives before the results are marked on tally sheets and the ballot boxes sealed.
“They are citizens â€” not permanent members of state institutions â€” who are chosen randomly among their own neighbors to count the votes,” Castillo said during a nationally televised broadcast of Saturday’s session. “They verify, instant by instant, step by step, moment by moment. They’re the witnesses.”
The partial recount will start Wednesday and last about five days. If substantial discrepancies are found, then the Tribunal will have to make a further decision as to whether to allow a more complete recount or annul the election. If the partial recount does not turn up serious errors in this sample, then the Tribunal will certify the election, which it must do by 6 September in order for the apparent victory of Felipe CalderÃ³n to be official.