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Byline: Katherine Corcoran
Feb. 20--Like many of his countrymen, Juan Castro wants dramatic change to come in Mexico's July 2 presidential election.
If a new president can bring economic reform, fewer people would need to follow Castro's path to the United States for better opportunities. Yet Castro, 37, a San Jose resident who is politically active in the Mexican-American group El Centro Azteca, won't be voting -- despite citizens living abroad being eligible for the first time.
"It's almost impossible for working people like me," he said of the registration requirements for those lacking a copy of their Mexican voting cards. "You have to go to Tijuana, miss a day of work to register and miss another day to pick up (the voting card.) . . . Do I have that kind of money? No."
It's a refrain repeated across the Bay Area and the country. Of an estimated 4 million people in the United States who are eligible to vote in Mexico, little more than 1 percent have registered, according to numbers released last week by Mexican Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE.
If Mexican citizens …