CEPR Adds up Available Recount Data, Finds Significant Vote Reduction for Calderon

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September 2, 2006   En español Result Could Explain Electoral Authorities' Reluctance to Release Recount Data

For Immediate Release: September 2, 2006

Contact: Mark Weisbrot, 202-746-7264
             Dan Beeton, 202-293-5380 x 104; 202-256-6116 (cell)

WASHINGTON - The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has found a significant loss of votes for PAN presidential candidate Felipe Calderón in a sample of recounted ballots.

Adding up the numbers for 1,706 ballot boxes (casillas) shows a loss of 1,362 votes for Felipe Calderón. Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the PBT shows a gain of 77 votes.

"This is inexplicably one-sided, with Calderón losing votes but López Obrador not losing any," said CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot. "It is also a significant percentage of votes in an election this close."

The 1,362 votes lost by Calderón represent 0.54 percent of his votes in these ballot boxes.

The result for the whole group of recounted ballot boxes would likely show a similar percentage, since the above ballot box totals were chosen randomly from the documents posted on the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary (TEPJF) web site. The ballot box totals compiled by CEPR comprise 14.4 percent of the 11,839 ballot boxes that were recounted.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has been searching through many thousands of pages in 375 documents [www.trife.org.mx (see "Ãltimas sentencias dictadas")] released over the past week by the TEPJF, for numbers on the recount conducted by the TEPJF from August 9 to August 13. The process is laborious but most of the results appear to be buried in these documents.

In other words, the full recount results might be available but it takes several days of research to find and compile the numbers for 11,839 ballot boxes scattered among many thousands of pages of documents.

Although the recount was completed nearly three weeks ago, the TEPJF has refused to release the numbers showing how the candidates' vote totals were changed by the recount. This contrasts sharply to the procedure followed for the preliminary and second vote tallies in July, when the results were made public immediately.

"This certainly casts doubt on the electoral authorities' decision to reject a full recount," said Weisbrot. "And it makes the TEPJF's decision not to release the recounted vote totals look even worse."*

See also CEPR's most recent paper examining the "adding up" errors in the vote count, here.

*Last Monday the TEPJF released the results of its annulment of 237,736 votes; many press accounts mistakenly reported these numbers as the results of the recount, which they were not. The ballot boxes where votes were annulled are not the same as those which were recounted. See http://www.trife.org.mx/consultas/boletines/archivos/079-2006.html.