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Why is Mexico’s 2018 general election such a big deal?

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On July 1, Mexico’s general election will decide a record number of races, Carina Garcia writes in El Universal.

Aside from choosing the next Mexican president, voters will weigh in on both chambers of Congress, local legislators in 30 out of 32 states and nine state governors, including Yucatán’s.

Over 4,000 contests appear on ballots nationally. Close to 87.8 million voters are choosing from among 13,000 candidates. Never in the history of Mexico have citizens been called to vote, simultaneously, on so many public offices.

The amount of public funding allocated for the 2018 electoral process – including TV and radio advertising – adds up to 26 million pesos (USD$1.3 million approximately), also a record sum.

As for human resources, that falls into the hands of the National Electoral Institute, known in Mexico as the INE, which has the challenge of registering all candidates, budget control, and settling electoral disputes which can range from excessive campaign spending to electoral fraud.

Out of the 30 states with current electoral processes, seven will hold elections on several levels: governor, local congress, town halls and community administrations. To meet the demand, 156,00 voting booths will be installed across the country, and the INE is required, by law, to hire thousands of personnel to train 1.4 million citizens to serve as polling officials on election day.

Under a new plan, citizens abroad are also able to vote. Garcia plans to write more about that in a future article in El Universal.

{ Related: Peso plunges as AMLO rises in the polls }

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