Despite relaxing regulations, Mexico authorities say they expect just a fraction of the 10.8 million voting-age Mexicans living in the U.S. to register to vote in time for the 2012 Mexican presidential elections. Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, reported it had received 24,154 registrations as of Jan. 6—the latest count available. Voter registration for Mexican nationals abroad ends Sunday, Jan. 15. There are 11.7 million foreign-born Mexicans living in the United States, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 92.3 percent of whom are of voting age.
Those who wish to vote for Mexico’s next president have several hoops to jump through, despite the easing of requirements. Mexicans living abroad now can register to vote even if their voting card, known as an IFE credential, is expired—a change from the last election cycle, when voting cards had to be current.
“Even if it isn’t valid in Mexico, in the United States it’s valid,” said IFE spokeswoman Ana Isabel Fuentes Bustillos.