MEXICO CITY The tiny but closely watched migrant segment of the Mexican electorate voted firmly for Josefina Vazquez Mota of the governing National Action Party (PAN), an opposite result to her third-place showing in the national race.The results announced Monday by the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) also showed a 23% increase in voter-abroad participation over the 2006 election, the first time Mexicans living abroad had the right to vote.
In all, 40,714 votes were counted from 91 countries, with a wide majority of those from the U.S., reflecting the deep civic engagement with Mexico that many established immigrants can maintain after decades away.Voters abroad registered with the IFE months in advance to receive a postage-paid ballot by mail, which had to be returned by Saturday. Electoral authorities on Monday noted they were also able to reduce the budget for the vote-from-abroad count by more than half.”It was a success because the goal was to get more votes than in 2006 at less of a cost, and that’s what happened,” said Ana Isabel Fuentes, IFE spokeswoman for the vote-abroad program.
The news was a bright spot in the post-election buzz for the PAN.A PAN-led government under President Vicente Fox pushed changes in electoral laws in 2005 to give Mexicans living abroad the right to vote, which migrants in the United States had lobbied for since the 1970s. The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had resisted giving migrants the vote throughout its presidencies.
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