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Mistrust of Government Led to Low Turnout in Mexico City

A record 71.7 percent of eligible voters did not participate in the elections for Mexico City's first Constitutional Assembly

Ballots being counted by election officials in Mexico City, Sunday, June 5, 2016, photo: Cuartoscuro/Galo Cañas
By The News Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
2 years ago

MEXICO CITY — The lack of trust in political institutions and disinterest in the benefits that the new constitution will bring were the main reasons why most eligible voters in Mexico City decided not to vote Sunday.

Sunday’s election had a historic rate of abstention; 71.7 percent of eligible voters stayed home, according to the first count.

“The question is, why should I vote? How is the new constitution going to help us? They always do whatever they want anyway,” said José Luis Pérez, a resident of Azcapotzalco borough.

In spite of campaigns in digital media, radio and television, many senior citizens decided not to vote because they do not trust politicians to represent them.

Some interviewed people demonstrated an understanding of the election, but none could name a benefit or importance of the new constitution, due to the lack of publicity.

“Our current constitution is fine, I have read it, but it’s not applied correctly,” said Gerardo Ruiz, a resident of Miguel Hidalgo borough. “What I don’t understand is what they’re going to do or how they’re going to change it, but I voted anyway.”

Fernando Reséndiz, from Gustavo A. Madero borough, has not voted for the several past elections, because he thinks that governments never take proposals from citizens seriously.

“I didn’t vote, not because I didn’t want to or wasn’t able to, but because they always end up doing whatever they want to, and we need to go about our lives,” said Reséndiz.

Residents of Mexico City said that ten years ago, they still took voting seriously, but that they no longer have interest in elections, because they perceive indifference on the part of the authorities towards citizens.

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