Mexico’s Elections Are Cleaner Than America’s 2020 Balloting

Mexican elections are cleaner than the one that’s still unfolding in the United States. 

One Mexican election authority is aghast at the fraud he has seen among Democrats in the 2020 election. 

“The fraud I have seen in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and some other states is so evident,” he said on condition of anonymity, that “it rivals the worst of what we have had in Mexico.”

Mexico’s dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) held onto power for decades through a combination of ruthless central control via an unaccountable bureaucracy, a powerful political police, economic nationalism, and massive corruption and patronage. The country has come a long way in recent years but still has far to go.

Even so, Mexicans are aghast at the Biden machine’s electoral corruption.

“Mexican and Latin American ‘fraud experts’ like PRI wouldn’t believe how easy it is to rig elections in the United States,” the Mexican election authority told me. “And it’s very clear that Democrats used every tool at hand to force a win. As far as I can see, they are ‘stealing the election, fair and square.’”

Most countries south of the border are strict about ensuring one person, one vote. No foreigners are allowed to vote. Quality of voter integrity varies.

“We have a very strict voting system in El Salvador,” says Ambassador Francisco Lainez, a former foreign minister. “Every citizen over 18 has what’s called a Unique Identity Document bearing his or her name, personal information, and digital photo, fingerprint, and signature. Every voter must present that ID when requesting a ballot at the voting booth,” he said, perhaps too diplomatic to make a comment either way about the unfolding vote count in the United States. 

I’ve seen El Salvador’s political process evolve since the Communist insurgency in the 1980s. As an official international election observer after the war, I was impressed with strict adherence to voter ID for everyone and measures to ensure that people vote only once.

Every democracy has its problems with fraud and abuse, and our southern neighbors have their fair share. Mexico still has trouble with “the substitution of ballots,” the Mexican election authority says, referring to wholesale dumping of real ballots and replacing them with faked ballots to be counted. “Entire blocks of cast votes were changed by others. All in favor of one candidate. These are very easy to spot. It’s impossible to have 100 percent of the votes for one option.”

It’s just as easy to spot in the United States, if those counting the ballots allow others to watch.

Mexico has some extreme cases, to be sure. I witnessed a town in Michoacán where the citizens got so fed up with their crooked locals that they overthrew the town government, chased out the police, and set up their own self-defense forces.

Traditional voter fraud in Mexico persists in some areas with “the nullification of ballots,” or “with writing on ballots, marking votes for multiple candidates, or whatever is needed to prevent those ballots from being counted,” the election authority told me. And then there is what he called “increasing the amount of ballots, exceeding the turnout.” 

Biden’s Vote-Rigging Would Leave Mexican Vote Fraudsters Breathless

It’s the specific steps that Mexico has taken to prevent voter fraud at the ballot box—and to prevent noncitizens from voting at all—that reveal how Democrats in the United States have made politics dirtier than Mexico’s.

With a population of 129 million, Mexico is the 10th most populous country in the world. That leaves a lot of room for electoral fraud.

The PRI tolerated regional or token competition as long as opponents didn’t threaten its fundamental grip on power. Over time, however, Mexico’s spectacularly corrupt one-party state gave way to a real democratic system that, for all is shortcomings, the country guards jealously. In recent decades, opposition leaders ranging from conservative to Marxist have overcome the PRI to win the presidency.  

Even the PRI would find American vote-rigging in 2020 too staggering to behold.

Vote by mail? No way. “In Mexico, and in Latin America, there is not a chance to mail votes. Mail service is terrible, no one would accept losing control of their vote,” the Mexican election authority says. He never heard of drive-thru voting until watching the 2020 U.S. election.

Vote on any day but Election Day? Never. Even applying to vote absentee requires the voter to appear in person with an ID three months in advance, and with a solid reason.

Can dead people still vote in Mexico? “Right now it is very difficult,” the official tells me. “But years before it was a very common fraud practice, as well as prison inmates and migrants.”

Total Voter ID in Mexico

Mexico is as nationalistic as a country can be. It’s proud of its traditions and its sovereignty. It aggressively protects its system from foreign interference. And it has one of the toughest voter ID systems around. 

Mexico has a federal system of 31 states and a federal district, but a strongly centralized government. The nation-state, not the rights of the individual, remains supreme. 

All adult citizens must have national identification cards. One such ID is a voter card, called “Credencial para votar,” literally “credential for voting.” It resembles an American state driver’s license with name, address, age, sex, place of residence, and a photo of the bearer, plus a unique “clave de elector” or “voter key” that functions like an voter equivalent of an American Social Security number, but without the taxation or handouts. (There’s a different personal number for those in Mexico.) 

This key is an 18-character alphanumeric code derived from letters from the individual’s given name, surname, mother’s maiden name or matronymic, the first internal consonant of each name, plus the numerical date of birth, two digits indicating the place of birth, either of the two genders, and a computer-generated suffix to prevent duplication. It contains numeric designations of the citizen’s state, district, municipality, neighborhood, and subsection. Unlike in America, Mexicans don’t appear on the voter rolls of multiple jurisdictions.

The code also indicates whether the Mexican citizen was foreign-born, natural-born to Mexican parents abroad, or a naturalized immigrant. Foreign status is important in Mexico, a country tough on illegal immigration and where foreigners are forbidden to interfere at all in politics.

The reverse of the credential-to-vote card contains the individual’s digitized signature and fingerprint, with personal data stored on a magnetic strip similar to those on a credit card. The card is protected with holograms and ultraviolet ink, all sealed in plastic.

In other words, Mexico runs a very tight ship to track its citizens—more than the average American would or probably should ever tolerate—to protect its electoral system from fraud and foreign interference. 

If a Mexican citizen shows up at the polling station without showing this form of ID, he can’t vote. All of this shows why Mexico’s electoral process is cleaner than ours in America.


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About J. Michael Waller

J. Michael Waller is senior analyst for strategy at the Center for Security Policy. He holds a Ph.D. in international security affairs at Boston University and for 13 years was the Annenberg Professor of International Communication at the Institute of World Politics.

Photo: Vincent Isore/IP3/Getty Images