A widely-shared Facebook meme suggest that voters in Mexico must undergo a more rigorous standard to be able to vote. The meme, which has been posted by several users, touches on conservative sentiments behind the voter ID laws being enacted in different states—including Georgia and Texas—and effectively makes the argument: If Mexico requires such strict voter ID protocols, why can’t the U.S.?
The meme states, in part, that voters in Mexico must “have a tamper-proof ID card with a thumbprint and embossed hologram. All citizens are required to personally enroll and show proof of birth or citizenship.”
UTSA Associate Professor of Political Science, Milena Ang, PhD, said Mexico does indeed have voter ID requirements.
“Right now, it is one of the main, if not, the main identification of Mexicans,” Ang said. “So, driver’s licenses for example, they’re not as widely accepted as this voter ID.”
Ang said Mexico implemented voter identification laws after the controversial 1988 Presidential Election between Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Chauhtemococ Cárdenas, in which the election had been rigged. In the aftermath of this fraudulent election, the Federal Electoral Institute was created to help the public trust the voting process, and a national voter ID was born.
But it is important to note—there are clear differences between the Mexican voter ID card, and some forms of identification being required in states across the U.S.
According to Ang, voter ID cards are easy to access in Mexico, they are completely free, and they are granted by a federal, autonomous institution.
“In Mexico, it’s really easy to get one of these voting credentials. There are some requirements that are necessary. The requirements are a birth certificate, a proof of address, and some official identification,” Ang said. “But once you have those three, you go to an office-- there are thousands of offices throughout the Mexican territory-- so it’s actually a very easy credential to have access to.”
According to the Instituto Nacional Electoral website, the photo ID has multiple security features, including a hologram and thumbprint.
This claims receives a Trust Index rating of true, though the creation and implementation of voter ID laws in Mexico was under different circumstances than what some states are enacting today.
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