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Vote Gets Easier for Mexicans Living Abroad

November 8, 2017

By Ana Gomez Salcido

Mexicans living abroad will be able to vote in the 2018 Mexican elections, easier than ever before.

Since February 2016, Mexicans have been able to request their voter ID through the consular network of Mexico all over the world. The issuance of voter IDs could not be done outside of Mexico before that date.

The President of Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE), Lorenzo Cordova said that between February 2016 and October 2017, almost half a million of Mexicans living abroad requested their voter ID through the consular network of Mexico.

Ninety five percent of the requests were made from Consulates in the United States. The five states with the most requests were California, Texas, Illinois, New York and Florida.

To vote in Mexico’s 2018 election from abroad, the issuance of voter IDs can be requested up to March 31, 2018, so the total number of requests is expected to grow up to 600,000.

INE officials said that out of the total number of registered voters living outside Mexico, they only expect 350,000 to vote, which will be the highest abroad voter turnout ever.

Cordova was the keynote speaker at a conference about Mexico’s 2018 Election at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California in San Diego, on Thursday, Nov. 2. The conference was the first of a series of lectures planned at the university to inform Mexicans and local leaders about the electoral process in Mexico’s next elections.

“Mexico’s 2018 Election will be the easiest to vote in for Mexicans living abroad,” said Cordova at a press conference with local and international media, held after his lecture. “The difference now is that Mexicans can request their voter IDs while they are living abroad. And in first time in history, the INE has the capacity to contact each of the Mexicans who obtained their voter IDs at any Mexican Consulate.”

The Mexican citizens who already have their voter ID, need to be sure their card is active. The status of the cards can be revised through the INE’s website, www.votoextranjero.mx.

“The 2018 elections in Mexico are very important because the presidency, seats in the Federal Congress, and state governorships will be available,” said Rafael Fernandez de Castro, director of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California in San Diego. “Next year elections, are also important because it’s going to be the first year with the ability of independent candidates to participate.”

The presidential candidates for Mexico’s 2018 Election are expected to participate in the series of lectures at UCSD, as well as the next president-elect.

“We are going to follow up the 2018 Election because we are convinced that is very important for the future of the Mexico and US relationship, specially for the San Diego-Tijuana region which keeps very close,” Fernandez de Castro added.

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