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MEXICO CITY — As the U.S. counts down toward its presidential election, voters south of the border in two Mexican states were putting on masks and slathering on hand gel to cast ballots in local elections on Sunday.

The border state of Coahuila, just south of Texas, was choosing a new state legislature while the central state of Hidalgo was electing 84 mayors. The vote there had been set for June, but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

National Electoral Institute head Lorenzo Córdova circulated a video appeal for people to cast ballots, saying, “You can be sure that we will receive you with very strict and precise health measures and protocols.”

No more than two voters were allowed at at a time at each polling spot and voters were asked to bring their own pens.

Mexico has recorded at least 86,000 COVID-19 deaths and more than 840,000 detected infections with the new coronavirus, including Navy Adm. Rafael Ojeda, one of the closest collaborators of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. He’d been seen — unmasked — at an event with the president on Friday.

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