On June 6th, 2021, Mexico held an unprecedented election. First, it was the largest election in the nation’s history in terms of both posts and participation. The legislative elections involved the selection of 500 deputies for their 65th Congress. In accounting for local and gubernatorial elections, more than 20,000 posts were open for vote. Additionally, it was the nation’s most violent election. In estimates of campaign-related violence, the number of related deaths ranges from 35 to 234. Lastly, over 100 LGBTQ+ candidates ran for office and represented a noteworthy increase in representation.
In Mexico, the Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE) organizes elections as the nation’s federal, autonomous election management body (EMB). The nation’s judiciary also offers a specialized court for election matters, the Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación (“TEPJF”). Both of these institutions play a role in ensuring that Mexico’s elections are constitutional, valid, and fair.
The June election was incredibly important for Mexico’s citizens, as well as the legitimacy of both the INE and the TEPJF. As a Legal Fellow at IFES, I began looking at the different legal and political processes involved in the Mexican electoral system as soon as I began my summer work. In preparation for in-country interviews to be completed in early fall, I drafted potential analytical frameworks for assessing the relationship between Mexico’s electoral tribunal and election management body.
As this work continued, I also picked up two other long-term projects. IFES curates a global database, ElectionJudgments.org, for national election judgments. Intended to facilitate the exchange of sound precedents across jurisdictions, the 170+ judgment collection is searchable by region, country, language, court, and the date of the decision. With the other legal interns, we created a social media strategy to promote the database and its affiliated publications and networks.
Additionally, I was brought on to a report on the database’s gender-related cases. I’ve begun reviewing the election judgments related to gender and researching the different systems that national governments use to ensure equal political participation and gender parity in public leadership.
As the “campaign trail” comes to an end halfway through my summer internship, I move closer to the “election night.” Check out the next post for another update about my fellowship at IFES.