Helping LI Mexicans to Vote in Mexican Elections

“Mexico is where you are” (Image via Voto Extranjero MX/Facebook)

A group of Mexican residents on Long Island’s East End have joined forces to raise awareness about the importance of voting in their country’s next election on July 1, when a new president will be chosen, among other offices.

“It is very important to know, even if we are not there, that we can vote from abroad,” said Arturo De Jesús, one of the initiative’s organizers and the owner of De Jesús Deli and Taquería.

Fortunately for Mexicans on the East End, there is a quick and easy way to obtain their paperwork without having to travel to Mexico or endure long commutes to larger cities, but they must start the process before March 31.

“Even though we do not live in Mexico, we need the country to get better,” said De Jesús. “The politicians we have made a mess, there is a lot of corruption, and it is time to change the situation there.”

Paola Zúñiga, born in Mexico and a resident of Flanders, joined the initiative and explained that it was created to assist and guide anyone who does not know how to obtain their voting documents from outside the country.

“We will help people who do not know how to go online or what paperwork they need,” said Zúñiga.

De Jesús and Zúñiga explained that, even though thousands of Mexicans live outside the country, they have not cut ties with their homeland, and many of them are aware of what happens there.

“Many Mexicans want to make a decision whether to go back or stay here, people who have family there, and that is why voting from abroad is important,” said Zúñiga.

“We have a different perspective from the United States, having lived in a place where people’s rights are respected. That is very different back in Mexico, and the people are fed up and want change,” she said.

By January of this year, 40,759 Mexicans had registered to vote from outside the country, according to Mexico’s National Electoral Institute.

To request their voting documents, people must file online at the Voto Extranjero page of the National Electoral Institute (INE, for Instituto Nacional Electoral) before March 31, or by phone at 1-877-MEXITEL (1-877-639-4835).

Help centers to assist people with their voting documents on the East End are located in:

Riverhead:

De Jesús Deli, at 376 County Road 39, in Southampton

  • March 17 from 3 to 5 p.m. with Alicia and Ana
  • March 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. with Consuelo

Southampton:

De Jesús Deli, at 1080-1140 Old Country Road in Riverhead

  • March 17 from 3 to 5 p.m. with Paola and Janet
  • March 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. with Paola
  • For more information on these centers helping people register to vote, call (347) 623-0917 or (516) 356-411.

Which federal seats will be elected on July 1?

  • President of the Republic, Head of State and Government of the country, to serve for five years and 10 months without the possibility of re-election.
  • 128 senators for the upper chamber of the Union’s Congress, three for each state of the Republic elected directly and 32 by national list, all to serve for six years.
  • 500 federal representatives for the lower chamber of the Union’s Congress, 300 of them to be elected by majority rule and 200 under the principle of proportional representation, all to serve for three years.

Who is running?

  • For the coalition México al Frente, the presidential candidate is Ricardo Anaya Cortés.
  • For the coalition Todos Por México, José Antonio Meade Kuribreña.
  • For Juntos Haremos Historia, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
  • The independent candidates are: Armando Ríos Piter, Jaime Rodríguez Calderón and Margarita Zavala.

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