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Mexico’s Voters Largely Skip AMLO’s Referendum to Probe Ex-Leaders

  • Turnout of 7%-8% isn’t enough to make vote legally binding
  • Voter apathy exposes trouble for president’s key proposal
A voter casts a ballot at a polling location during a national referendum in Mexico City, on Aug. 1. 

A voter casts a ballot at a polling location during a national referendum in Mexico City, on Aug. 1. 

Photographer: Jeoffrey Guillemard/Bloomberg
Updated on

A nationwide referendum spearheaded by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to investigate his five predecessors came up far short of the turnout needed to make it legally binding, signaling a lack of urgency in the Mexican president’s key anti-corruption campaign.

Only 7% to 8% of eligible voters cast ballots Sunday, shy of the 40% needed for the referendum to force authorities to take action, the nation’s electoral agency estimated hours after the vote concluded. Of those who did show up, 89% to 96% agreed former leaders needed to come under scrutiny.