Mexico to take to the polls . . . but not to vote

Protestors urge voters to nullify ballots

Next month, Mexicans will be heading to the polls when the country holds its midterm congressional elections. But that doesn’t mean they will be voting. In the lead-up to the elections, protestors have begun broadcasting word of a new campaign: voto nulo, or, the null vote drive. Meant to convey Mexicans’ widespread dissatisfaction with the political system, the voto nulo campaign encourages citizens to deliberately deface their ballots instead of casting votes for legitimate candidates. Word of the movement has largely been spread by blogs and Internet chat sites. Discouraged voters say that politicians have not done enough to address issues of public corruption, crime, poverty, and economic stagnation. Voto nulo, they hope, will make their disenchantment clear to officials. But critics charge that the drive is irresponsible and counterproductive, and that it threatens Mexico’s evolving democracy.

Los Angeles Times