A voter in Mexico. (AP)

Mexico Elects: What's in Play in the Country's Massive 2024 Elections?

By Carin Zissis and Jon Orbach

More than 20,000 posts—presidency included—are up for grabs on June 2, 2024. AS/COA Online maps out key dates, voters, and the seats at stake.

Mexico’s 2024 election will be the biggest in the country’s history. That’s not just due to the sheer number of voters but because—for the first time—all 32 of the country’s states will hold concurrent elections for local seats, in addition to the presidential contest. Mexican voters will cast ballots for more than 20,000 posts across the country. That’s about six times the number of posts up for grabs during the last general elections in 2018. 

The year 2024 also marks a decade since governing party Morena officially registered as a party. In the 10 years since, Morena has become the leading political force in the country with popular President Andrés Manuel López Obrador as its figurehead.

With an eye to the country’s massive vote on June 2, 2024, AS/COA Online maps out the electoral calendar, the positions up for grabs at the federal and state level, what’s at stake in the gubernatorial races, and the demographics behind who will be casting ballots.

Federal seats
  • 1 president 
  • 128 senators 
  • 500 deputies 
  • Total: 629

Presidents in Mexico are elected to a single, six-year term known as a sexenio. While presidents would previously get inaugurated on December 1 of the year of electoral victory, creating an extraordinarily long lame duck session, a 2014 electoral reform dictates that the next president will take office on October 1, 2024. As such, López Obrador, who took office on December 1, 2018, will serve a shorter term than normal—five years and 10 months.

All 128 Senate seats are up for grabs, 64 of which are elected directly in a system of relative majority, with two politicians representing each state. Another 32 seats, or one per state, go to the party that wins the second-largest number of votes in that state. The final 32—again, one per state—get divided among parties based on votes won nationally. Senate terms run in conjunction with the presidential sexenio and, thanks to the 2014 reform, sitting senators can seek reelection for one term to serve a maximum of 12 years.

Much like in the Senate, all 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies are up for election. Voters select 300 of these legislators through direct votes in a system of relative majority in single-member districts. The other 200 seats are elected from party lists in five electoral regions through proportional representation. Deputies are elected to three-year terms and can seek reelection for four consecutive terms, for a maximum of 12 years.

Local seats
  • 9 governors in 8 states and Mexico City 
  • 1,098 legislators in 31 local congresses and the capital 
  • 18,208 municipal posts in 32 states 
  • 431 additional seats in the states of Campeche and Tlaxcala 
  • Total: 19,746 

All 32 of Mexico’s federal entities will hold local elections simultaneously and voters will select close to 20,000 officials, including state legislators. Currently, Morena and its allies hold the largest portion of seats in 21 of the local legislatures. That gives the ruling party the upper hand when it comes to ratifying constitutional reforms, as such changes require the backing of 17 states.

As part of these local votes, Mexico City’s 16 districts will hold elections to select mayors. The capital, which has close to 9 million residents, has been considered a leftist stronghold since the 1990s. But the 2021 midterms saw Morena’s coalition lose a number of seats, leading to a city divided down the middle with the alliance of the National Action Party (PAN), Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), and Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) overseeing the western half of the capital and Morena’s alliance governing in the east.

But the most important local seats up for grabs are the governorships. Nearly a third of Mexico’s states—Chiapas, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Mexico City, Morelos, Puebla, Tabasco, Veracruz, and Yucatán—will select new governors, who serve single, six-year terms. Due to gender parity rules, political parties are required to propose women candidates in five out of the nine states. 

In the 10 years since Morena officially became a party, it has come to control two-thirds of the country’s governorships.

The voters

Close to 98 million Mexicans are registered to vote in the 2024 elections. Voting is not mandatory in Mexico, and the turnout rate in the last general elections hit 63 percent.

Included in the total voters are the 1.4 million Mexicans abroad who have the necessary credentials, though they must also register to cast a ballot. The electoral agency anticipates that as many as 390,000 ex-pat voters could cast ballots, and they will be able to do so by mail, online, or in person at one of 23 consular sites. In the last general elections, 182,000 foreign residents registered to vote, of which 98,000 cast ballots, for a turnout of 54 percent.

Below, we chart voters by gender, as well as the tallies for voters in the five most-populated states, which together account for 40 percent of the country’s registered voters. All of these states except Estado de México will elect new governors next year.