Brazil’s superior electoral court (TSE) confirmed Positivo Tecnologia as the winner of a tender to supply 180,000 electronic ballot boxes for the country’s electoral processes. In a first bidding round, Positivo, which is the largest Brazilian electronics manufacturer, competed with the current supplier, the SMTT consortium, comprising the UK’s Smartmatic and Diebold from the US. The price the Brazilian company offered was about 800mn reais (US$153mn), around half that presented by its competitor. With the result, the Brazilian company marks its entry into the supply of electronic voting machines. They will be manufactured in the industrial center of Manaus, Amazonas state. The new ballot boxes will partially replace the current ones, which number roughly 470,000. However, they will not be used in this year’s municipal elections “as there is not enough time for manufacturing and programming,” TSE said in a statement. But the machines will be ready for the 2022 state and presidential elections, TSE said.
Brazil: Municipal Elections Delayed Amid Coronavirus Pandemic | Murilo Fagundes and Samy Adghirni/Bloomberg
Brazil delayed this year’s municipal elections by about a month as the country struggles to control the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s lower house of congress approved on Wednesday a constitutional amendment to postpone the first round of the election, initially scheduled to October, to Nov. 15. Run-off votes will take place on November 29th. The proposal, which had already been approved by the senate, is ready to be signed into law by the president of congress, Davi Alcolumbre, on Thursday. The extension gives Brazil some extra time to prepare for an event that will be logistically challenging in a country hit hard by the pandemic. The number of confirmed cases stands at 1.4 million, the largest in the world after the U.S., according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. Fatalities already surpassed 60,000 people.
Bolsonaro did not win 55 percent of votes thanks to misinformation alone. A powerful desire for political change in Brazil after a yearslong corruption scandal and a court decision compelling the jailed front-runner Luis Inacio Lula da Silva to withdraw from the race both opened the door wide for his win. But Bolsonaro’s candidacy benefited from a powerful and coordinated disinformation campaign intended to discredit his rivals, according to the Brazilian newspaper Folha. Days before the Oct. 28 runoff between Bolsonaro and his leftist competitor, leftist Fernando Haddad, an investigation by Folha revealed that a conservative.
Brazilian authorities reiterated that the electronic voting machines used in the country’s elections are completely fraud-proof prior to the run-off, which took place on yesterday (29). In a public service announcement run on national television and radio on Saturday night, the minister at the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) Justice Rosa Weber highlighted the security of the electronic polling machines in use in Brazil and the danger of fake news dissemination. To ensure a smooth election involving nearly 148 million citizens in Brazil, where voting is compulsory, Weber said the electoral justice took “various measures to prevent and correct any possible failures.”
A far-right, pro-gun, pro-torture populist has been elected as Brazil’s next president after a drama-filled and deeply divisive election that looks set to radically reforge the future of the world’s fourth biggest democracy. Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former paratrooper who built his campaign around pledges to crush corruption, crime and a supposed communist threat, secured 55.1% of the votes after 99.9% were counted and was therefore elected Brazil’s next president, electoral authorities said on Sunday. Bolsonaro’s leftist rival, Fernando Haddad, secured 44.8% of votes. In a video broadcast from his home in Rio de Janeiro, Bolsonaro thanked God and vowed to stamp out corruption in the country. “We cannot continue flirting with communism … We are going to change the destiny of Brazil,” he said.
Brazil’s biggest newspaper said Wednesday that it has asked federal police to investigate threats against a journalist whose story alleged backers of the front-running presidential candidate bankrolled a fake news campaign. The request comes amid an increasingly heated atmosphere ahead of Sunday’s runoff between far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who leads in opinion polls, and his leftist opponent, Fernando Haddad. The newspaper Folha de S. Paulo last week ran a report by Patricia Campos Mello saying businessmen linked to right-wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro had paid to spread fake news on the WhatsApp messaging service to benefit his candidacy. It said a blast message campaign also was planned for this week. Bolsonaro denied the report. Haddad called on Brazil’s electoral court to investigate.
Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) has conceded that it is struggling to deal with the overwhelming wave of fake news created and disseminated around the country’s presidential elections. In a press conference that took place yesterday (22) following the emergence of a WhatsApp mass messaging scandal involving leading presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro , TSE minister Justice Rosa Weber said there was no failure regarding Brazil’s electoral justice around dealing with disinformation, but later admitted there is a problem. “We all know fake news is a worldwide phenomenon, which calls for reflection. We would like to have an immediate and effective solution, but we don’t,” Weber told journalists. “Whoever has the solution to fight disinformation, please show it to us. We haven’t discovered a miracle,” she added.
Over the past few months, the 120 million Brazilians who use WhatsApp, the smartphone messaging application that is owned by Facebook, have been deluged with political messages. The missives, spread through the country by the millions, have targeted voters ahead of Brazil’s fiercely contested presidential election. A final runoff between a far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, and Fernando Haddad, the leftist Workers’ Party candidate, will be on Oct. 28. One popular WhatsApp message displayed the name of a presidential candidate, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, next to the number 17. When Brazilians vote, they punch in a number for a candidate or party in an electronic voting machine. The misleading message was just one of millions of photos containing disinformation believed to have reached Brazilians in recent months. A study of 100,000 WhatsApp images that were widely shared in Brazil found that more than half contained misleading or flatly false information.
Brazil: ‘Flowering of hate’: bitter election brings wave of political violence to Brazil | The Guardian
The two contenders in Brazil’s bitterly-contested presidential race have urged calm after a wave of attacks on journalists, activists and members of the LGBT community by supporters of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro including beatings, a knife attack and a murder. Supporters of the former paratrooper – himself the victim of a botched assassination attempt last month – have also reportedly been targeted with violence. But an investigation by independent journalism group Agência Publica found that an overwhelming majority of the violence was committed by supporters of Bolsonaro, who polls give a 16-point lead over his leftist opponent, Fernando Haddad, ahead of the second round runoff on 28 October.
As Brazil nears the climax of its most bitter and polarized election in recent history, academics and digital activists fighting to stem a rising tide of fake news say that accurate coverage of the campaign risks being drowned out by the sheer volume of lies being spread on Facebook and WhatsApp. On Monday, Brazil’s electoral court ordered Facebook to remove links to 33 fake news stories targeting Manuela D’Ávila, a communist party politician and the vice-presidential candidate for Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party (PT). D’Ávila party hailed the decision as a victory, but one digital media expert said it was a mere drop in the ocean. “This is nothing. It’s irrelevant amid the lies and attacks in this election,” said Pablo Ortellado, a professor of public policy at the University of São Paulo who leads a project monitoring public debate on social media. “There is very little correct information.”
Brazil’s electronic ballot boxes are internationally admired: The country welcomes foreign delegations that travel here to study them, and sends experts to other nations to teach them about the technology. But as the country goes to vote today (Oct. 7) in a deeply polarized election, conspiracy theories spread by frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro, a radical right-wing populist, are casting doubts on their infallibility. The attack on the machines threatens to call into question the integrity of Brazil’s entire electoral process. The machines are mandatory in 460,000 voting stations across Brazil’s five regions, and have become iconic in Brazil since they were first used in 1996. Their instantly recognizable sound indicating a vote has been cast is used in political ads. They’re touted on TV on election day, with segments showing the challenges electoral workers face to transport the boxes containing them—be it by truck in São Paulo, by bus in Rio, or by boat in the Amazon. The country even lends the machines to fellow Latin American nations for tests (in countries like Argentina, Haiti, Equador, and Mexico) or for actual elections (like in the tiny neighboring nation of Paraguay).
Brazilian leftists heaved a huge collective sigh of relief on Sunday night after Jair Bolsonaro – the homophobic, dictatorship-praising far-right front-runner – fell just short of a stunning first-round victory that would have made him president of one of the world’s largest and most diverse democracies. Their relief may well be short-lived. Fernando Haddad, Bolsonaro’s opponent in the pivotal second-round vote on 28 October, has a mountain almost as high as Brazil’s Pico da Neblina to climb if he is to scupper the right-wing populist’s dramatic political ascent. Bolsonaro secured more than 49m votes on Sunday – 46% of the total and just shy of the majority he needed for an outright win – while his Workers’ party (PT) opponent won just 29%, or 31m votes.
Francine Farias had just completed a census of her tumbledown favela on the outskirts of one of the world’s most violent cities when she heard a volley of gunfire and her count was rendered suddenly out of date. One unpaved street away, her nextdoor neighbour, 17-year-old Ruan Patrick Ramos Cruz, lay dead in the dirt after being repeatedly shot in the head and chest by unknown assassins. “First I heard four [shots], then two more,” recalled Farias, a community leader in Loteamento Alameda das Árvores, a rundown 288-home settlement on the southern fringes of Feira de Santana. “It’s devastating to see one more young person die because of crime – a young man with his whole future before him,” added Farias, 31, who said her neighbour had become mixed up in drugs. “He’s the third since I’ve lived here. All of them the same age.” Cruz was the 296th person to die in Feira de Santana this year and the latest victim of an escalating murder crisis that has arguably made public security the key issue as Brazil holds its most unpredictable presidential election in decades.
Brazil’s highest court ruled Wednesday that 3.4 million people cannot vote in next month’s national elections because they failed to register their fingerprints with authorities, a move that could affect the crowded presidential race. All voting is electronic in Brazil, and since 2016 voters have had to register their fingerprints to cast ballots under a biometric voting system. On a 7-2 vote, the justices found it would be impossible to drop the requirement for biometric identification less than two weeks before the Oct. 7 elections. Two judges abstained. Critics say authorities didn’t properly inform Brazilians of the requirement, so many failed to register their fingerprints.
The man leading Brazil’s presidential election polls says he is worried that fraud could cost him victory in October, raising questions about whether he would accept defeat. Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro made a Facebook live posting Sunday saying he sees a risk that fraud might give the election to Fernando Haddad, who has replaced jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on the left-leaning Workers Party ticket. Da Silva led in polls before being disqualified due to a corruption conviction. “The great concern is not to lose the vote, it is to lose by fraud. That possibility of fraud in the runoff, maybe even in the first vote, is concrete,” Bolsonaro said in his first address to supporters from a hospital where he is recovering from a Sept. 6 stabbing attack.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the jailed former Brazilian president, stepped aside on Tuesday to allow his running mate to stand for the presidency in next month’s election, as Leftist candidates’ strong showing in a poll pulled markets lower. The politician, nicknamed “Lula”, had been the frontrunner despite serving a prison term for corruption and had already been banned by the courts from contesting elections in South America’s biggest economy. The switch was approved at a meeting of the Workers Party in the southern city of Curitiba – where Mr da Silva has been held since April – as a court-ordered deadline loomed for him to name a stand-in. “The decision has been made,” a party official told AFP.
Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right frontrunner in next month’s Brazilian presidential election, is in a serious condition in hospital after being stabbed while campaigning. Bolsonaro was taken to hospital in the town of Juiz de Fora, about 125 miles (200km) north of Rio de Janeiro, after he was stabbed by a man who rushed up to him while he was being carried through a crowd on the shoulders of a supporter. He was in a serious but stable condition after injuries to his abdomen, surgeons at the Santa Casa de Misericórdia hospital said. Bolsonaro’s son Flávio – himself a candidate for the Brazilian Senate – tweeted that his father was “almost dead” when he arrived at hospital, having lost a lot of blood.
Leftist ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will appeal his barring from October’s elections to the United Nations and Brazil’s Supreme Court, the man set to replace him on the ballot said Monday. The appeal will be accompanied by a request to suspend Friday’s decision by the Superior Electoral Court to prevent Lula from running for a potential third term as president because he is serving a 12-year jail sentence for accepting a bribe. After visiting Lula in prison in the southern city of Curitiba, Workers’ Party potential candidate Fernando Haddad said he had informed the former head of state of “all the possibilities at his disposal.”
Brazil’s top electoral court has ruled that jailed former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is barred from running in October’s presidential elections. The ruling came after a dramatic and gruelling late-night session broadcast live on television and across news sites, and defied a request from the United Nations human rights committee that he be allowed to stand. Lula is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption and money laundering. The court also banned him from campaign advertisements. His defence said it would appeal the decision to Brazil’s supreme court.
In Brazil’s capital, a well-known rodizio — an all-you-can-eat steakhouse — offers a steep discount for choosing only one type of meat; at an upscale Italian eatery, you can now pay for lunch in installments; at a soup kitchen, shop owners join the homeless for a free meal. Faced with fewer customers, restaurants are dropping their prices for the first time in 13 years. “Brazilians have had to change their habits and go to cheaper restaurants,” said Paulo Solmucci Junior, head of the country’s bar and restaurant association. “Traditional, important restaurants have closed and many are at risk. We were optimistic this year. But the economy let us down.”
In a blow to electronic-voting critics, Brazil’s Supreme Court has suspended the use of all paper ballots in this year’s elections. The ruling means that only electronic ballot boxes will be used, and there will be no voter-verified paper trail that officials can use to check the accuracy of results. In an 8-2 majority, justices on Wednesday sided with government arguments that the paper trails posed a risk to ballot secrecy, Brazil’s Folha De S.Paulo newspaper reported on Thursday. In so doing, the justices suspended a requirement that 5 percent of Brazil’s ballot boxes this year use paper. That requirement, by Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court, already represented a major weakening of an election reform bill passed in 2015.
Brazil’s scandal-plagued political class voted on Wednesday to set up a 1.7 billion reais ($542 million) fund with taxpayer money to finance election campaigns, making up for a dearth of private funding ahead of next year’s general election. A ban on corporate donations coupled with the drying up of under-the-table contributions and kickbacks in the wake of the country’s biggest corruption scandal have left lawmakers struggling to raise campaign funding. The lower house of Congress approved a bill that had passed the Senate and will take funds from pork barrel appropriations and government payments to buy TV and radio time for parties.
Brazil’s Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and the Brazilian Computer Society (SBC) have signed a cooperation agreement to apply best practices to the technology supporting voting processes in the country. According to the TSE, the involvement of the Brazilian Computer Society aims at “establishing means of integration, research and improvement of computing” at the electoral tribunal. … Flaws found in the Brazilian electronic voting system in the general election of 2014 pointed to the possibility of fraud. At the time, two of the top computer science universities in Brazil suggested that it is possible to easily break the secrecy of the machines and unscramble the order of votes recorded by the devices.
Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court was to meet Tuesday on whether to invalidate the 2014 presidential election because of illegal campaign funding and to force President Michel Temer to step aside. The court, known as the TSE, could in theory scrap the results of the election, forcing either a snap election or for Congress to pick a new interim leader in Latin America’s biggest country. This would be a bombshell for a country already wallowing in two years of recession and the fallout from the massive “Car Wash” corruption investigation. Analysts say there is little chance of this, however, with Temer likely to keep his seat until regularly scheduled polls at the end of 2018.
Next year’s elections in Brazil will be processed manually due to substantial cuts in public spending, it emerged yesterday. This is the first time elections will be carried out through paper-based means since 2000, when electronic voting machines were used to process all votes. E-voting in Brazil was first introduced in 1996 and rolled out gradually in the following years. Municipal elections will take place in October 2016. According to an official statement, more than R$428m ($109.6m) in resources will not be released to the Superior Electoral Court, which impacts the ability to buy the electronic voting devices and other required equipment. The pressure is on to expand it, even though a secure online voting system is impossible using today’s technology. “The biggest impact [of the budget cuts] is around the purchasing of electronic voting equipment, as bidding and essential contracting is already underway and [to be concluded] by end of December, with committed spending estimated at R$200m ($51.2m)” the statement added.
Brazilian voters re-elected Dilma Rousseff as president on Sunday, endorsing a leftist leader who has achieved important gains in reducing poverty and keeping unemployment low over a centrist challenger who castigated her government for a simmering bribery scandal and a sluggish economy. Ms. Rousseff of the Workers Party took 51.4 percent of the vote in the second and final round of elections, against 48.5 percent for Aécio Neves, a senator from the Social Democracy party and scion of a political family from the state of Minas Gerais, electoral officials said Sunday night with 98 percent of votes in the country counted. While Ms. Rousseff won by a thin margin, the tumultuous race was marked by accusations of corruption, personal insults and heated debates, revealing climbing polarization in Brazil. Mr. Neves surged into the lead this month in opinion surveys, only to be eclipsed by Ms. Rousseff as the vote on Sunday approached.
Brazil’s left-leaning President Dilma Rousseff was re-elected Sunday in the tightest race the nation has seen since its return to democracy three decades ago, after a bitter campaign that divided Brazilians like no other before it. With 99 percent of the vote counted, Rousseff had 51.5 percent of the ballots, topping center-right challenger Aecio Neves with 48.5 percent. Rousseff’s victory extends the rule of the Workers’ Party, which has held the presidency since 2003. During that time, they’ve enacted expansive social programs that have helped pull millions of Brazilians out of poverty and into the middle class.
Brazilian voters electing a new president this weekend are being asked to decide what scares them least: the incumbent’s warnings about the “ghosts of the past,” or her challenger’s charges about the “monsters of the present.” The latest polls give left-leaning incumbent Dilma Rousseff a slight edge in Sunday’s runoff vote to lead the world’s fifth-largest nation. But few people are counting out centre-right challenger Aecio Neves after a topsy-turvy campaign that has been the most competitive, divisive and dramatic since Brazil’s return to democracy in 1985. “The country is divided in two, with half feeling that social inclusion and protections are what matter most, and the other half believing that macroeconomic stability is more important,” said Carlos Pereira, a political analyst at the Gertulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil’s leading think-tank . “The candidate who convinces voters he or she is best prepared to combine these two beliefs and make them complementary will win Sunday’s election.” The race turned dramatic after Eduardo Campos, a main opposition candidate, was killed when his campaign plane crashed in August. His running mate, renowned environmentalist Marina Silva, was thrust into his spot, and she immediately jumped to a double-digit lead over Rousseff and Neves. Silva initially tapped into the discontent over poor public services that millions of Brazilians expressed in anti-government protests last year, but her campaign never found its feet and voters drifted away from her within weeks. That opened the gap for Neves to stage his surprisingly strong showing in the Oct. 5 first-round vote, coming in second and forcing Rousseff into a runoff when her first-place finish didn’t get an absolute majority.
Brazil is on tenterhooks. With five days to go before the presidential run-off on October 26th the race remains too close to call. But for the first time since the first round of voting two weeks ago the left-wing incumbent, Dilma Rousseff, has gained ground. On October 20th a poll by Datafolha put Ms Rousseff four points ahead of Aécio Neves, her centre-right challenger; last week Mr Neves was leading by a whisker. Perhaps it was only a matter of time. Ms Rousseff’s campaign, as cynical as it is formidable, has relentlessly (and unfairly) bashed the market-friendly Mr Neves for wanting to slash social programmes and govern solely for the rich elite. It has also attacked his record as governor of Minas Gerais, a big state which has just elected a governor from Ms Rousseff’s Workers’ Party (PT) and where she beat Mr Neves in the first round (in part because the opposition vote was split between him and Marina Silva, a charismatic centrist who came third overall). “People who know Aécio don’t vote for him,” blare PT television ads, conveniently omitting to mention that whenever Mr Neves himself stood for elected office in Minas, he strolled to victory.
Brazil’s most unpredictable presidential election in a generation is heading toward a photo finish on Oct. 26 between leftist incumbent Dilma Rousseff and pro-business challenger Aecio Neves, a new poll showed on Wednesday. In an increasingly acrimonious campaign, the candidates traded accusations of lies, corruption and nepotism in a bruising television debate on Tuesday night that had no clear winner and saw more attacks than discussion of policy issues. Neves, the market favorite, has gained ground since his stronger-than-expected showing in the first-round vote on Oct. 5, when he bested environmentalist Marina Silva to place second behind Rousseff. But Neves has struggled to build on that momentum and has been running neck-and-neck with Rousseff in opinion polls for the last week.