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Think your vote doesn’t count? Nine mayoral contests across Ecuador were decided by 80 votes or less

Published on February 14, 2023

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The election results in nine cantons were extremely close. In Colimes for example, the winner took the mayor’s office with only four votes more than his opponent.

Nine cantons in the country reported the closest results in the 2023 sectional elections, with less than 100 votes making the difference in their mayoral contests. In those places, the winners of the elections were defined with a minimum number of votes, which in some cases generated accusations of fraud and led to challenges against the vote counts.

The tightest of these contests was that held in Colimes, Guayas, where the difference between the first and the second-place candidates was only four votes.

With 100% of the tally sheets validated in that canton, the winner was announced to be Álex Quinto, from the Social Christian Party, with 3,849 votes. Washington Mendoza, from the Patriotic Society and who had already been proclaimed the winner of the mayoral contest a few days ago, obtained 3,845 votes.

In El Pan, Azuay, something similar happened. Wilson Ramírez, from Revolución Ciudadana, received 751 votes, and Janeth Garzón, from Unidos Venceremos, garnered 745, a difference of six votes among the 1,496 cast.

In total, nine cantons decided the winners of their mayoral races with vote differentials of 80 votes or less. They were:



Cantons with the Closest Results in Ecuador’s 2023 Elections


Canton Winner Party Vote differential
Colimes, Guayas Álex Quinto PSC-Madera de Guerrero 4
El Pan, Azuay Wilson Ramírez Wilson Ramírez 6
Cevallos, Tungurahua Cevallos, Tungurahua Oportunidades 14
Isabela, Galápagos Alfredo Morocho Movimiento MIP 17
Lomas de Sargentillo, Guayas Isidro Morán Creo 48
Pucará, Azuay Adrián Berrezueta Partido Socialista 51
Espíndola, Loja Álvaro García* Revolución Ciudadana 56
Urdaneta, Los Ríos Amada Zambrano Por ti Urdaneta 76
El Tambo, Cañar René Castillo Unidos por Cañar 80

* 98%of votes validated.

Large cantons with challenged results


There were also other races decided by more than 80 votes that still had extremely close victories based on the total number of votes cast.

In Yaguachi, Guayas, for example, the difference between the two leading candidates was 196 votes. That figure however was a difference of only 0.51 percentage points, as there were 49,211 registered votes cast in the canton.

There, the fight was between Viviana Olivares, from Revolución Ciudadana, who for now has the victory, and Cristhian Menéndez, from the Yaguachi Primero alliance. The latter has already presented challenges to the Provincial Board asking for a recount of the votes.

In Tosagua, Manabí, another large canton, with 34,377 votes registered, the difference between the two candidates was 194 votes, or 0.73 percentage points.

The mayoral winner for now is Romel Cedeño, from RC-Sí Podemos, and second place is held by César Bernabé Cevallos, from the New Generation movement. Like Menéndez, Cevallos has already filed a claim with the Provincial Board to request the recount.

When can a recount be requested?

In Ecuadorian elections, according to the Democracy Code, there are two claims that can be made in asking for a recount:

The first is when there are records with inconsistencies (without signatures or where other data does not match). This happened, for example, in the counting of the votes of the referendum, which had these both types of problems.

The second reason is for claims of misappropriate action presented by political organizations, provided they are well founded.

If they identify some type of problem, the parties and movements can request a verification of the results once the count has been 100% closed. They can do so before the provincial board, the CNE and the Electoral Dispute Tribunal.

In the previous elections, the TCE ordered the total recount of the votes in Babahoyo, Los Ríos, due to problems in the scrutiny. This recount took place in Quito, after there were voter problems in the outskirts of the province.


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