Vote Buying Rampant in Upcoming Mexico Presidential Election

Mexico's presidential election has not officially begun and there are already concerns by watchdog groups, who are concerned about widespread corruption, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Polling done by University of Texas professor Kenneth Greene, who researches Mexican elections, found that 21 percent of respondents had been approached with an offer to buy their vote. 

"I was a little surprised that it's that high because it implies an absolutely gargantuan expenditure of resources," he tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI.

While primaries have already begun south of the border, candidates will start campaigning in March.  Greene expects this election will be compromised like no one before, and that's saying a lot.  Mexico's politics has been littered with illicit cash, and vote counts have been mysteriously skewed. 

"All the indicators we have imply that it will be a dirtier election. There will be even more vote-buying attempts."

His polling found that, of those willing to name a party that made the offer to buy a vote, 78 percent said it was a PRI representative.

A recent survey showed their candidate, former Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade, in third place with just 16 percent support.

Whomever is elected will be working closely with the U.S. and Canada, as the three nations decide the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Greene says, that's why the integrity of this election matters.

"People in the U.S. value democracy highly, and election that are won on the basis of vote-buying are not democratic."

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