Times Staff Writer
4:26 PM PDT, August 9, 2006
MEXICO CITY -- Elections officials on Wednesday began recounting nearly 12,000 disputed ballots from July's presidential election while supporters of second-place finisher Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expanded their civil disobedience campaign to a blockade of three bank buildings.
The recount was ordered last week by a seven-judge tribunal that has the final say over election matters. They must declare a new president within a month, or throw out the results of the July 2 election.
Lopez Obrador and his lawyers filed appeals to the Federal Electoral Tribunal shortly after the election, claiming errors and fraud steered the election to Felipe Calderon, who won by less than a percentage point. Lopez Obrador has since waged a campaign of civil disobedience to support his demand for a national recount.
The tribunal appeared to close the door on a full recount Saturday, after justices said the law allows the recounting of ballots only at polling stations that appeared to have made arithmetic errors or show other irregularities.
Lopez Obrador so far has offered no proof of fraud.
The partial recount, which must be completed by Sunday, will require opening ballot boxes from 11,893 polling stations, about 9 percent of the 130,000 voting sites.
So which is it - almost 12,000 ballots or almost 12,000 polling places?
The results are in! Early this morning the LA Times finally voted for.... almost 12,000 polling places as the correct answer!