With the final decision of IFE, Mexico's institute responsible for organizing elections, to destroy what remains of the ballots used in Mexico's contentious 2006 election, that saga seems to be coming to an end.
IFE's general council also agreed to destroy the 2012 ballots.
A couple of years after the fraudulent 1988 election, PRI and PAN conspired, following a deal with Carlos Salinas and Diego Fernández de Cevallos, Diego, to have the ballots burned so as to remove forever any possibility of finally knowing the extent of the fraud that brought Salinas to power.
Yet one should be very careful with any analogies to 2006 here. In 1988, all opposition candidates claimed that fraud had taken place, and much evidence surfaced to back the claim. After July 2, 2006, AMLO was the sole candidate to claim fraud took place - as he claimed in 2012 as well. Yet not one single investigation has uncovered the slightest evidence that AMLO won more votes than Calderón, or that any massive fraurd took place where ballots were altered in any systematic way favoring the PAN candidate.
It is understandable that this is still a touchy issue for many, especially those individuals and organizations who have repeatedly sought access to the 2006 ballots. Yet IFE has pretty good reasons for wanting them burned. The institute is, for sure, required by law to dispose of electoral material after the final verdict has been passed on an election, but other motives are quite mundane: Money. It has so far cost the institute more than half a billion pesos to store them, and half a billion pesos more for the army to store them.
And the clincher: Despite the billion pesos spent, much of the ballots are already so rotten and decayed that they are useless in any case.
But the larger point should not be forgotten: Even if much of the ballots were not already destroyed, there is no reason to think that any full recount would alter the result in any significant way.
It seems to me that it is therefore time to let go.
Acuerda el IFE eliminar boletas. El Universal, Oct. 4, 2012