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Not enough voters turned out Sunday in order for a plebiscited for the rural area of San Quintín to become Baja California's sixth municipality to be valid.
El Vigia news site said 10% of the 330,000 registered voters in Ensenada had to vote in order for the plebiscite to be valid. That would be around 33,000 people. But El Vigia said that it appeared that fewer than 15,000 turned out.
Officials said the urban area of Ensenada, 2,873 voted to allow San Quintín to break off, while, 7,073 voted against it. Results from rural areas more likely to vote to become the state's sixth municipality were to be reported Monday. Story, El Vigia.
Update, Oct. 30: Out of 27,595 votes cast, 17,580 voted for San Quintín to become a separate municipality and 7,548 were opposed. This includes the votes from Cedros island. That means that 70% of those whose ballots counted voted to create the new entity. Political page, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Oct. 31: Plebiscite invalidated for not meeting participation threshold. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Ensenada residents will vote Oct. 28 on whether San Quintín should become Baja California's sixth municipality. Many San Quintin residents have been seeking to divorce themselves from Ensenada, the municipality with the greatest land mass in the nation. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Fernando Figueroa Calderón, who heads a group pushing for municipality status for San Quintín, told Frontera newspaper: "San Quintín is considered to be the most neglected area of the state and we are prepared to be a municipality. This is not a whim, we have studied everything during our ten years as an organization, and if the state legislature unanimously approved this plebiscite it is because we met the requirements."
An Autonomous University of Baja California study indicated that the time is not ripe for overwhelmingly rural San Quintín to be a municipality, saying it would run a deficit for years, Frontera reported.
If San Quintín separates, Ensenada would lose its status as the nation's biggest municipality as its size would fall from 52,646 square kilometers (20,326 square miles) to 12,225 (4,720 square miles).
San Quintín's area would be 40,421 square kilometers (15,606 square miles), making it the country's largest municipality in terms of area. Mulegé in Baja California Sur then would occupy second place at 33,092 square kilometers (12,776 square miles).
San Quintín would extend from the ejidos Rubén Jaramillo (represented by the blue marker on the map) and Bramadero to the north, Baja California Sur to the south and to the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez.
The vote will take place at 122 polling stations.
Zepeda Jacobo, president of Canacintra Ensenada (The National Chamber of the Industry of Transformation), questioned the utility of having San Quintin become separate and said Ensenada could be hurt by the move.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, June 29, 2013: Baja California legislature votes 23-0 to make San Quintín the state's sixth municipality.