Mexico to destroy paper ballots

| 9/13/2006

Mexican President-elect Felipe Calderon is asking the Federal Electoral Institute to hold off on destroying the paper ballots used in the controversial summer election.

Calderon told Mexican media that he hopes to preserve the ballots – at least for a while – to boost public confidence in the election.

The Mexican election in July required a panel of judges to declare Calderon the winner after he received less than 1 percent more votes than his opponent, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

A law in Mexico obligates the Federal Electoral Institute to destroy the paper ballots once a winner is declared.

The election institute chairman issued a letter to Mexican media on Tuesday to say officials would be setting a date to destroy the ballots.

So far, neither Calderon nor Obrador have taken any legal steps to block the election institute.

Obrador continues to allege the election was full of fraud.