La Jornada: Americas Program Original Translation by Anna Moses
See Spanish Original.
Alonso Urrutia and Fabiola Martínez.
The 2006 election guide was carefully reviewed to correct any mistakes from re-occurring, affirmed the executive secretary.
Mexico City - Edmundo Jacobo Molina, the executive secretary of the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) who is responsible for the operational portion of the election, anticipates that the week after the election will be the most complicated part of the process. He says, “If necessary, we will recount all of the ballots; if this scenario occurs, we are legally obligated to do so. We have a very big challenge ahead of us because the deadlines are short, but we will do it.”
Without legal reform in counting district votes, after a complex judicial process to replace the regulations and agreements, the official said, "We have carefully reviewed the guide from 2006 to learn what we had done well and correct what we had done badly," to change the structure of the IFE and improve the training of the officials so that they can complete their duties. "If there is good cause to recount the ballots, we will do it in each case," he said.
In 2006, there were "communication problems"
He is convinced that in strictly organizational terms, the election of 2006 was one that had the best standards of compliance: polling booths installed, trained officers who completed their tasks, fewer "untrained staff," a very quick approximate count including district counts. "The problem was more communicative than operative; all the indicators regarding operation were excellent."
He warns of another complex topic: 43 companies have announced carrying out surveys and quick counts on the night of the election. This substantial number requires the General Council to adopt provisions to guarantee that they have the technical support for them, with the release today of an agreement that the companies undertaking the counts must submit their methodologies no later than Monday to be made public; it will be an "inhibiting" mechanism so that there will be rigor in their counting and less disparate results.
The diffusion of the rapid count and the Preliminary Electoral Results Program (PREP) will help to prevent unsubstantiated practices and those "who make a mistaken conclusion, for whatever reason, will be selected, and in every case will be discredited.” Self-regulation of our own pollsters is the other factor that will contribute to accuracy on the night.
"We have to get used to having more information and that this is better. In other times we were fighting about information, because there was only one source that was reflected like a mirror all the time; now we are opening the forms of communication, which is good, but everyone has to sign the contract and publicly take responsibility for it.”
In an interview, Jacobo Molina shared other information that differentiated this election from the controversial one of 2006: that year there were more than 700 complaints, now more than 75% of these have been resolved. "The policy is to address them (complaints) as they come up; not for political reasons, but to give credence to the process."
- Even for the complaints the PRI and the Progressive Movement exchanged on alleged financial irregularities?
- In this case the deadline will have passed. We can't address this right now because we are closing the election. The next session will be a closed election period and we cannot get to the complaints that stop political campaigns. We must be discerning.
-Have there been many complaints about the Dirty War?
-There have not been many. We had prepared for a more complicated scenario; fortunately, this campaign has not been so intense and the relevant decisions have been made in time and confirmed by the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary which has defined criteria and important restrictions. In any case, about libel and slander, the truth is that society is going to judge. We haven’t lowered our standards, instead, we have brought out better freedom of expression.
The election of 2009, the first after the electoral reform, prepared the IFE for issues such as district calculations and the implementation of a communication policy model that overcame the unequal access to radio and television that existed in 2006.
"In 2009 we began a very complex relationship with the licensees and official agents." For this election, "we have entered a civility pact to manage the electoral process in the best way."
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