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Mexico's presidential election will be recounted

July 5, 2012

Mexico's presidential elections concluded with Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) emerging victoriously, but many doubt the validity of the new leader's win. The Washington Post reports preliminary vote counts show Pena's victory was by more than three million votes, but opposers and political activists have smelled something fishy and are calling for a recount.

"It was neither a clean nor fair election," Eduardo Huchim of the Civic Alliance, a Mexican group funded by the United Nations to watch over the nation's goings-on, told the news source. "It was perhaps the biggest operation of vote-buying and coercion in the country's history."

There have been allegations of trickery and bribery by PRI activists to gain votes. Pena's supporters supposedly distributed gift cards for a local chain of grocery stores to voters in certain districts, and there were rumors children were also stationed at certain polling venues to ensure voters cast their ballots in favor of Pena, the Post reports. Giving out gifts to communities, schools and individuals is not an uncommon practice among politicians, but they are required to report these expenditures and are fined if they exceed the limits. It is also important to note these gifts cannot be used to directly influence the voters' decisions on election day, which is what many accuse the PRI of doing.

Now, authorities will be recounting votes from 78,012 ballot boxes out of the 143,000 that were used to determine if there were any inconsistencies, according to The Associated Press. They will look for ballot boxes containing votes entirely in favor of one candidate or if there is a difference between the leading candidates of less than 1 percent.

"I trust that the final tally will be consistent with the preliminary count," Pena Nieto said about the recount, according to the AP.

Pena's opponent, who had 32 percent of the vote in the preliminary count - opposed to Pena's 38 percent - shares the opinion that Pena's election campaign was tainted with illegal practices used to garner votes. He indicated his party found evidence of inconsistencies in their own counts and believes those in charge of the recount will discover the same.

Those who want to find out more about the recount can make calls to Mexico to get the latest updates from their friends.

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