Is the IFE retreating?

Andrés Manuel López Obrador was up to something when he insisted during his campaign that “there were no conditions in Mexico to commit a fraud.” Now I see what he meant: his “secret weapon” was (is) the effective popular control over the results of the electoral process!

Via la Casa del Plan de los 3 Puntos forum, El Sendero del Peje blog, and a sprawling and complicated web of virtual links, e-mail networks, etc., a group of committed netizens are organizing, cooperating, communicating, and getting things done to expose the electoral trickery that, without a vigilant citizenry, would have propelled Felipe Calderón to victory.

One thing these netizens have been doing tirelessly is collecting a vast stock of digital photographic evidence showing the discrepancies between vote tallies at polling places and the data recorded on the PREP web site of the IFE. The effect is being felt. The IFE is starting its retreat.

Carlos Ugalde, the director of the IFE, was interviewed this morning by Carlos Loret de Mola (Televisa). There, Ugalde said that the 3 million missing votes denounced by López Obrador in his press conference yesterday were not “missing,” but kept in a separate file by the IFE (i.e. unreported on the PREP) due to “inconsistencies.” He emphasized that the PREP data was not meant to be conclusive and he denied — unconvincingly, if you ask me — that the IFE had in any way manipulated the data feeding sequence on the PREP to make the PAN look like a juggernaut.

In any case, they are retreating. Ugalde says the PREP is only informative, not determinative. And this afternoon, El Universal reports that the IFE admitted that 2.5 million votes, 888,971 votes in favor of López Obrador (as well as 743,795 votes in favor of Felipe Calderón) had been ommitted due to discrepancies. This shortens the distance between López Obrador and Calderón to 257,532 votes.

Note that these discrepancies are separate from the discrepancies shown by López Obrador and collected by La Casa del Plan de los 3 Puntos, since the latter were fed into the PREP database. So they are reflected in the official tally: 14,027,214 Calderón vs. 13,624,506 López Obrador.

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