In a nail-biting photo-finish, Movimiento Ciudadano (MC) candidate Moisés Anaya Aguilar appears to be the victor in Chapala’s contentious mayoral race.
The preliminary vote count was announced on the evening of Thursday, July 5 by Chapala Electoral Council President Rosa Angélica Cázares Alvarado, following a prolonged review of election poll documents that began early the previous day.
The breakdown of the tally allotted 6,726 votes to Anaya for a razor-thin edge over PAN candidate Alejandro Aguirre Curiel, who garnered 6,627 votes. Both men had precipitously claimed the win, throwing simultaneous victory rallies in downtown Chapala just six hours after the polls closed.
Up for reelection, Mayor Javier Degollado came up short for the PRI, with 4,938 ballots marked in his favor. His brother, Gerardo Degollado, took 2,756 votes running on the Morena-PT-PES ticket.
Setting a historic precedent as Chapala’s first-ever independent candidate, Juan Diego Castro Morales pulled in a respectable 1,093 votes, enough, presumably, to land him a city council seat.
Trailing far behind were PVEM candidate Andrea García Mariscal with 291 votes and PANAL contender Esperanza Mejía Carvajal, with 213. Null votes totaled 529.
A series of election day foul-ups – attributed to inadequate, last-minute preparation of the citizen volunteers acting as poll keepers – caused the nerve-wracking delay in completing the vote count. Numerous irregularities were detected as the local council checked the contents of election packages brought in from polling stations at 18 locations.
A dozen packets mistakenly sent to district headquarters in Jocotepec were not returned to the council office on Calle Juárez until late Wednesday. In many others, the official vote count summary sheets verified by poll watchers were sealed inside the ballot envelopes instead of the outside pocket where they were meant to be. One package contained scraps of election materials and no ballots at all. The corresponding envelope was eventually retrieved.
Jalisco’s Electoral Institute (IEPC) is responsible for certifying the preliminary numbers and issuing official results by Sunday, July 8. Even so, the PRI representative seated on the electoral council declared the party will demand a full ballot-by-ballot recount to clear up any lingering doubts as rumblings of election fraud run rampant among the populace.
Meanwhile, José Miguel Gómez López, running on the MC-PAN-PRD ticket, has been named virtual winner of the Jocotepec mayor’s race, garnering 7,736 votes to beat out his closest rival, PRI candidate Héctor Huerta who drew 4,776 ballots.
In Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, PRI incumbent Eduardo Cervantes won reelection by a landslide over four opponents.
Former Chapala Mayor Jesús Cabrera Jiménez was a shoe-in for the District 17 seat in the state legislature under the MC banner.