Instituto Nacional Electoral

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Instituto Nacional Electoral
Formation1990 (as Instituto Federal Electoral)
2014 (as Instituto Nacional Electoral)
TypeIndependent agency
PurposeGovernment elections
HeadquartersAv. Viaducto Tlalpan 100, Tlalpan, Mexico City
Official language
Guadalupe Taddei Zavala
Formerly called
Federal Electoral Institute (Instituto Federal Electoral, IFE)
INE's headquarters in Mexico City.

The Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE) (English for National Electoral Institute) (formerly Federal Electoral Institute (Instituto Federal Electoral, IFE)) is an autonomous, public agency responsible for organizing federal elections in Mexico, that is, those related to the election of the President of the United Mexican States, the members of the Congress of the Union as well as elections of authorities and representatives at local and state levels. The agency's president is Guadalupe Taddei Zavala, appointed in 2023 for a 9-year tenure.



In 1917, with the publication of the Constitution of Mexico the Junta Empadronadora, the local Computing Councils and the Electoral Colleges were placed in charge of organizing and supervising the election of the President, the Chamber of Deputies, and the Senate.[1] This meant Municipal Presidents were granted a great deal of control over the election process, due to the location and amount of polling station within their Municipalities.[2]

The Federal Electoral Viligance Commission (1946-1973)[edit]

The Federal Electoral Viligance Commission (CFVE), the first formal electoral body of Mexico, was established with the Federal Electoral Law on January 7, 1946, as a dependent agency of the Secretariat of the Interior (SEGOB).[3] The CFVE was led by the Secretary of the Interior, an additional Federal cabinet member, a Federal Deputy, a Senator, and two representatives from the most relevant political parties.[4] President Manuel Ávila Camacho, the artificer of the new agency, transferred the responsibility of electoral vigilance to the President of Mexico, arguing that Municipalities were incapacitated to perform that function due to "party influence".[5]

The new Electoral Law also established the Council of the Electoral Roll and Local Electoral Commissions, as well as declaring independent candidacies illegal, granting political parties exclusivity during electoral processes.[6]

In 1951, the attributions of the CFVE as an electoral authority were expanded. Some of its new responsibilities included emmitting majority certificates to recognize winning candidates and intervention in the process to create new political parties.[4]

Federal Electoral Commission (1973-1990)[edit]

In 1973, the CFVE was extinguished and replaced by the Federal Electoral Commission.[1] Its government organ introduced representatives from all legally registered political parties, who had voice and vote for the proceedings.[4]

In the 1976 Mexican general election, José López Portillo participated as the sole candidate for the Presidency. Consequently, once he was president, he passed the 1977 political-electoral reform, that created the Law for Political Organizations and Electoral Proceedings (LOPPE).[7][8] This law modified the government organ of the Electoral Commission, to include representatives from all parties, including those under a "conditional registry". The figure of conditional registry consisted of a four year probation period for new political parties, in which they'd need to demonstrate their subsistence.[4] This figure was eliminated in 1984. Since the reform made it easier to register new political parties and granted effective representation in the Electoral Commission to existing parties, it was generally considered a progressive reform.[7]

At the end of the 1980s, opposition parties consolidated themselves as a serious threat to Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)'s hegemony. This led to the 1987 electoral reform, that established a proportional representation system in the Electoral Commission's government body, giving PRI a majority of the political party representatives. Because of this, the reform was generally considered regressive.[7]


IFE former logo, used from 1990 to 2014

The IFE was formally established on October 11, 1990 after controversies surrounding the 1988 Mexican general election resulted in a series of constitutional reforms approved in 1989 and the Federal Code of Electoral Institutions and Procedures (Cofipe), a law passed in August 1990 and currently in force.[9] The legislative branch of the federal government, the national political parties, and the general citizenry participate in its composition.

Since its creation, the constitutional and legal regulations in this subject matter have experienced further major reforms, which have affected the composition and details of the IFE. A reform approved in 1996 reinforced the level of independence and autonomy of the IFE by completely dissociating the executive branch from any aspect regarding its membership or functions, and by reserving the vote within all its directive bodies to the councilors, the members that do not have links to any party or to any state power or body.

IFE had legal personnel and assets of its own. Its headquarters were located in the Federal District, and it was organized under a decentralized framework that allowed it to exercise its duties throughout the country.

As a result of electoral reforms initiated by President Enrique Peña Nieto, the IFE was dissolved on April 4, 2014, and was supplanted by the National Electoral Institute (Spanish: Instituto Nacional Electoral, INE).


With its creation in 2014, the National Electoral Institute took over all responsibilities of the Federal Electoral Institute. It was also charged with oversight of all elections at local and state level, as well as plebiscites and the regulation of processes of citizen's participation in public administration.[10] Lorenzo Córdova was appointed chairman of the General Council for a 9-year period starting 2014.

In 2022, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador proposed a reform that would require INE officials to be elected by vote. He contends that the proposal would "allow citizens to select honest people to run elections." The idea is opposed by academics and nongovernmental organizations,[11][12] viewing it a way to politicize the body with parties steering their supporters to vote for particular candidates for the board.[13]

Political parties and associations[edit]

IFE was charged with the registration, funding and oversight of national political parties. Starting 2014, INE was also charged with oversight over local political parties, which before 2014 were registered by each state's Electoral Institute. Rules and guidelines for the registration of political parties are outlined in the Federal Code of Electoral Institutions and Procedures.

In addition, INE registers national political associations, which are intended to assist in the development of democratic life and the country's political culture, as well as being intended to create a better informed public opinion. The creation of a national political association is usually regarded as the first step towards the creation of a full-fledged political party.

Professional Electoral Service[edit]

In order to guarantee a professional and specialized performance of its responsibilities, the INE used a special system of recruitment, selection, training, and evaluation of qualified staff to provide electoral services, especially in its fundamental areas, which are the ones directly linked with the preparation and organization of elections.


Since the early 1990s, INE has held the authority to redraw congressional districts, and since 1996, INE has used a redistricting algorithm to redraw congressional districts. The INE Executive Board appoints a technical committee, which is made up of experts in cartography, demography, and statistics. The committee adopts an objective scoring function that includes criteria, such as population equality, compactness, preserving political boundaries, traveling time, and minority representation. Once the scoring function is adopted, the technical committee creates a proposed map using an optimization algorithm. Different optimization algorithms have been used at different times, such as simulated annealing and honeycomb optimization. Political parties have two opportunities to propose changes that score better on the objective scoring function before the committee makes a final recommendation for adoption. The interaction between the political parties and the committee, their proposed maps, and intermediate maps are not publicly available.[14][15][16]


The first electoral process organised by INE was in the period 2014-2015. In total 2,159 candidates were elected at local, state and national levels. The increase in violence against women participating in electoral processes prompted the institution to prepare and adopt, together with other organizations, a protocol to eliminate violence against women in electoral processes.[17]

The 2018 Mexican general election were coined by INE as the biggest electoral process in Mexican history. Over 3,000 positions were to be filled by popular vote. The election results proved to be unprecedented in its scope and impact on Mexico's political landscape.[18] Despite severe challenges, such as no less than 145 election-related deaths, the 2018 elections were generally considered free and fair.[19]


  1. ^ a b "Historia". Instituto Nacional Electoral (in Mexican Spanish). Retrieved 2023-07-29.
  2. ^ Garrido, Luis Javier (1991). El Partido de la Revolución Institucionalizada. Medio siglo de poder político en México.: La formación del nuevo estado (1928-1945) (in Spanish). Siglo XXI. ISBN 978-968-23-1710-1.
  3. ^ "Tome CLIV (5)". January 7, 1946. Retrieved July 29, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c d "Instituto Nacional Electoral". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2023-07-29.
  5. ^ Ayala, Álvaro Arreola (1988). "La Ley Electoral de 1946". Revista Mexicana de Sociología. 50 (3): 169–187. doi:10.2307/3540559. ISSN 0188-2503. JSTOR 3540559.
  6. ^ Campos, Gonzalo Santiago (July 2014). "Las candidaturas independientes en México". Revista Derecho del Estado (in Spanish) (33): 65–99. ISSN 0122-9893.
  7. ^ a b c "De López Portillo a Peña Nieto, estas fueron las reformas electorales en México". infobae (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2023-07-29.
  8. ^ "la reforma política de 1977". Retrieved 2023-07-29.
  9. ^ McNally, Dylan (30 June 2014). Mexico's National Electoral Institute: Ensuring Fair Elections at the Local Level Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.
  10. ^ "Sobre el INE". Instituto Nacional Electoral (in Mexican Spanish). Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  11. ^ Kitroeff, Natalie (2023-02-23). "México restringe a su instituto electoral, que contribuyó a acabar con el régimen de partido único". The New York Times (in Spanish). ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-02-23.
  12. ^ Magos, Alejandro García (2022-11-16). "En defensa del INE y la democracia en México". Latinoamérica 21 (in Spanish). Retrieved 2023-02-23.
  13. ^ "Mexico leader proposes electoral reforms" Los Angeles Times accessed 3 May 2022
  14. ^ Trelles, Alejandro; Altman, Micah; Magar, Eric; McDonald, Michael P. (December 2016). "Open Data, Transparency and Redistricting in Mexico". Política y Gobierno. 23 (2): 331–364.
  15. ^ Trelles, Alejandro; Altman, Micah; Magar, Eric; McDonald, Michael P. (7 January 2021). "No Accountability without Transparency and Consistency: Redistricting-by-Formula in Mexico". doi:10.2139/ssrn.3762805. S2CID 241797458. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. ^ Grofman, Bernard; Feierherd, German (7 August 2017). "Analysis | The U.S. could be free of gerrymandering. Here's how other countries do redistricting". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  17. ^ admin2 (2016-05-20). "New Protocol Presented in Mexico to Deal with Cases of Political Violence Against Women". International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics. Retrieved 2021-01-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  18. ^ "Mexico 2018 Election Overview". 2018-08-01. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  19. ^ "Mexico". Freedom House. Retrieved 2021-01-02.

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