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By: Brenda Torres

On July 1, 2018, the Mexican elections took place after six years with their current President Enrique Pena Nieto.  Presidential take place every six years in Mexico. The elect-president is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The people of Mexico and Mexicans who reside in the United States are excited to have Lopez Obrador as their president in Mexico.  He is the first left wing, progressive president, Mexico will have in a long time. Lopez Obrador is seen as the future president for the people. Nothing but neo-liberals and conservatives have been in office since the 1960s. However, Lopez Obrador has brought a new hope to people on both sides of the border.  

The result of this election was  not only because of the people of Mexico , but also Mexican immigrants and because of people who hold dual citizenship in the United States.  According the Census of 2010, Chicago has the fourth largest Mexican population. A great amount of the Chicagoan population is Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans.  Many of them hold dual citizenship that allows them to vote in Mexican elections.

People are able to vote in Chicago and other parts of the country because of an agreement between certain Mexican government departments.  “Thanks to an agreement that the Secretaria Relaciones Exteriores (Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs) with Instituto Nacional Electoral, signed on Dec. 2016;  Feb. 2017, the consulates, and embassies of Mexico, eased the process of obtaining credencial elector (elector credential),” stated Luis Adrian Sosa Morales, Press Attaché of the Mexican Consulate of Chicago.  [This interview took place in Spanish and was translated.] Credencial elector is similar to the Verification of Registration card, issued by the Board of Election Commissioners in Chicago.  

For this past Mexican election, once people have their credencial elector they have to activate it with Instituto Nacional Electoral, which is an organization in Mexico that is responsible for their elections.  After that is taken care of, voters receive their electoral packet through the mail (voting from the exterior took place through the mail this time).  Within the election packet is the election ballot and information on the candidates. When voters make their decision for the next president of Mexico, the electoral packet is sent and arrives before July 1 to Mexico.

Something different that happens during election season in Mexico compared to the United States, this is what they call periodo de veda.  A period during election season, where certain policies, prohibitions are applied related to political propaganda.  One of the reasons this is applied, so people can reflect and not feel pressured on whom to vote for president. During this time, no candidate can campaign, have public events, speak on their promises, or speak against other candidates campaigns.  This is also to be observed through the public as well.

Lopez Obrador is scheduled to take office in Dec. 1.

 


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