This Will Be a Historical Election

By Jesús Aguado

The electoral year has begun, and on Sunday, July 1, 2018, more than 80 million Mexicans will elect a new president of the United States of Mexico, along with senators and federal legislators.

In Guanajuato, as in other states, the federal election is held at the same time as the local election. That is to say, when a governor will be elected, state legislators and a new city council will be elected. In San Miguel the city council is made up of the mayor, assistant mayor, and ten city councilors. The electoral institutions are already working on the process. We present here some election-related activities that will take place from now until July 1, 2018.

The election will be historical, not just because it will have the greatest public funding in the history of elections for political parties and independent candidates (6,778 million pesos) but also because for the first time the dates of local elections will be the same in 30 states (of 32) in the country (the federal election is held in the 32 states). In some states just the city council or local legislators will be renewed, but in others, such as Guanajuato, the voters will change the local congress, governor, and city councilors at the same time. This election will be historical also because, for the first time, majors and city councilors, as well as local legislators are allowed to run for a second three-year period, “if the procedures of their political institutions pick them to run.”

Federal public servants can be reelected until 2021, but the president, who can run just once, remains in charge for a six-year-period.

Local District 9

The National Electoral Institute (INE) is an autonomous public office responsible for the organization of federal elections—president of Mexico, senators, and members of the federal congress. Along with each state’s institute, the INE coordinates to organize the local election: governor, city councils, and members of the local congress.

In Guanajuato, the local electoral institution is the IEEG, which has offices in 15 of the 22 districts. There is an office in San Miguel, headed by Juana Arellano.

The election that we will experience more closely is the local one. Here, the INE and IEEG started last year with a restructuring of the districts. San Miguel shared the local deputy with half of the population of Dolores Hidalgo, but since the redistribution, the candidate will campaign in San Miguel and Apaseo el Grande. The total number of voters in these two cities was 185,266 as of August 31 this year.

We interviewed Juana Arellano, who spoke about some important dates for the IEEG, the political parties, and the citizens. This past August, the IEEG had published a call to integrate the district council. She was elected president, with a secretary and two councilors, and sworn in on October 15. Since then, they have been working on the organization of the electoral process. In the same office, there is a municipal council, which will be in charge of the election for the City Council. That group is headed by Cecilia González.

Local Dates

The state electoral code has established dates for the electoral process. The city councils in turn—for the first time—are allowed to run for a second term. They had to hand over a letter with their intention to the IEEG with a deadline of October 7, 2017. Mayor Ricardo Villarreal, his assistant mayor, and five city councilors from his party (PAN) submitted the letters of intention to the electoral entity. However, that does not mean that they will run. Their party will determine the method to select the pre-candidates and candidates for the race.

The next date will be for registering citizens with intentions to run for independent governor, city councilors, mayors, and local deputies. Those interested must gather three percent of the signatures from the total number of voters, whether in the state for governors, in the city for mayors, or in the district for deputies. In San Miguel, if a citizen wants to run independently for mayor, he will have to gather 3,648 signatures distributed in each of the city’s 102 sections.. The call will be open from November 25–December 1 for governor, December 10–16 for mayor and city councilors, and from December 25–31 for local deputies. Those who fulfill the goal, will have to present the signatures by the February 6 deadline. All those pre-candidates supported by one of the nine political parties (PAN, PRI, PRD, PES, PT, MORENA, MC, NA, PVEM) will be able to start their pre-campaigns but just within the membership of their party, which will decide the method to select the best candidate to represent them in the election. Those running as candidates for governor will be able to campaign for 60 days; mayors and city councilors for 45 days; and pre-candidates for deputy for 60 days.

Finally, once elected by their parties or by the citizens, the candidates for governor can get in the official register on March 14; those running for mayor and city councilors, on March 22, and local deputies, on April 5.

Candidates running for governor can officially begin campaigns on March 30; mayor and city councilors, on April 14; and local deputies, on May 14. Federal and local campaigns must end on June 27 to give the citizens time to reflect on whom they will vote for. On Sunday, July 1, the polls will be open from 9am–6pm, and people will vote.

Thanks to INE’s technology, as well as the structure the political parties have during election day, although the voting process ends at 6pm, it is easy to know by 11pm who has been elected mayor and local deputy. The election is closed with the handing over of the document of majority to the winners on the Wednesday after the election.

Federal District 2I

San Miguel de Allende is the base for the offices of Federal District 2 (of 300), which is made up of five cities. Each district elects a federal legislator. Itzel Peralta Perkins (head of the offices in San Miguel) told Atención that they work all year long even if there is not an election process, and now they are working on their part for the federal election.

The date just closed for citizens to hand over their intention to run as independent senator or local deputy. However, District 2 did not receive any intentions. Celaya had 2, and Irapuato had one, all of them for federal legislator. The central offices of the INE received 48 letters from people interested in running as independent candidates for President of the Republic; however, they must gather the support (through signatures) from two percent of the total number of voters—86,659,234.

The nine registered parties will have to send a notice to the INE to let it know if they will go to the election as a block—with a single candidate—or if they will go individually. Then the pre-campaigns of those interested in the presidency will end on February 11, 2018, but they will campaign only with the members of their parties. Winners will get their official registration from March 11–28 and their campaigns across the country can begin on March 30–June 27.

BOX

The new elected public servants will be sworn in as follows:

Local deputies, September 25

Governor, September 26

City council, October 10
Federal Congress,

Senate,

President of the Republic, December 1

 

Budget

The 2018 budget for the INE, which also distributes money to the state electoral entities, will be 25,045 million pesos (2,000 million more than 2015). Operation of the offices will be covered by 18,256 million pesos, and funding of political parties and independent candidates, by 6,788 million pesos. It has been estimated that each vote costs 205 pesos.

The budget still needs to be approved by the federal congress.

 

 

 

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