Vote recount begins in Mexico

From: Jerry Lobdill <lobdillj_at_charter_dot_net>
Date: Thu Aug 10 2006 - 14:49:53 CDT

The real questions are:

1. If the 11839 polling booths are really
selected at random, and if there is no actual
correlation between fraudulent polling place vote
count and number of votes cast at the polling
place, what is the probability that a recount of
these polling places will uncover at least one instance of fraud?

2. What is the actual probability that the
likelihood of tampering doesn't depend on the
size of the vote count at a polling place?

3. How were the 11839 polling places undergoing recount selected?


Posted on Thu, Aug. 10, 2006

Vote recount begins in Mexico

The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY - Electoral officials fanned out
across the country Wednesday to begin a partial
recount in Mexico's tight presidential election,
while leftists alleging vote fraud blocked bank
headquarters in the capital and vowed to take
their disruptive protests nationwide.

Guarded by soldiers and monitored by electoral
judges and representatives of all five of
Mexico's political parties, authorities started
sifting through ballots cast at 11,839 polling
booths, about 9 percent of the 130,000 booths used during the July 2 election.

The count must finish by Sunday. The Federal
Electoral Tribunal will review the results and
can then declare a president-elect by Sept. 6,
annul the election or order a wider recount.

The initial results gave Felipe Calderon, the
pro-business candidate of conservative President
Vicente Fox's National Action Party, a lead of
240,000 votes, or less than 1 percentage point,
over leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez
Obrador, former mayor of Mexico City.

The partial count could change those results, but
it was considered unlikely to tip the balance in
favor of Lopez Obrador, whose supporters have
been disrupting life in the capital for more than
a week to press their allegation that he was
robbed of an election victory by fraud.

Calderon welcomed the partial recount, saying it would cement his advantage.

But Lopez Obrador dismissed the action as a farce
and said his loyalists will continue their
demonstrations unless authorities order a
vote-by-vote recount of all 41 million ballots.

Across Mexico, electoral officials sliced open
seals placed over doorways and pulled tape off
doorknobs to reopen storage rooms holding the paper ballots cast July 2.

Officials then began opening sealed polling
packages to sift through ballots and read the tallies from polling stations.

They were looking for mathematical errors,
evidence of fraud, ballots that should have been
thrown out or ballots that were mistakenly annulled.

The seven judges of the Federal Electoral
Tribunal voted unanimously Saturday to deny a
full review, saying it would violate election
laws that allow recounts only when there is
evidence of irregularities or fraud.

They instead ordered the partial recount at
polling places where they deemed that problems were evident.

The decision led Lopez Obrador to call on his
supporters to escalate protests from the tent
camps they set up along Mexico City's main
Reforma Avenue and at the central Zocalo plaza
July 30, snarling traffic and commerce and trying
the patience of many of the capital area's 23 million people.

On Wednesday, dozens of Lopez Obrador's
supporters blocked the entrance to the main
offices of three foreign-owned banks in Mexico
City, where they chanted, "Vote by Vote!" and "Long live democracy!"

2006 Star-Telegram and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

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Received on Thu Aug 31 23:17:06 2006

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