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Few Mexican expatriates registered to vote

Sunday is the deadline for Mexican expatriates to register to vote in their country's presidential election this July. It's the first time Mexicans living outside the country will be allowed to vote. But only a small number have registered. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

About four million expatriates are eligible to vote. But so far, only 15,000 have registered. Mexican elections officials aren't expecting a surge this weekend.

Wayne Cornelius directs UCSD's Center for Comparative Immigration. He says low registration was almost predetermined.

Cornelius: "There were too many things the prospective voter has to do in terms of obtaining an application, filling it out, going to a post office, returning it through registered mail."

There was also little publicity about the opportunity to vote.

Cornelius says politicians did all those things on purpose fearing the expatriate vote would sway the election.

Cornelius says expatriates will wield little influence in 2006 and their votes will be divided among the candidates. Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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