Bolsonaro for printed ballots in next year’s presidential run
Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has pleaded, on Thursday, for the adoption of printed ballots that can be counted.
He said that it is important to avoid fraud in the country’s electronic voting system in next year’s election.
He, in his weekly social media webcast, said, “I want elections next year, but democratic, clean, and sincere elections”.
Bolsonaro also showed a series of video clips as alleged evidence of past fraud – saying that democracy in Brazil was at risk.
His critics say that the far-right president is seeking to adopt a path like his political guru, former US President Donald Trump. They see him sowing election doubts to pave the way for him not to accept defeat in next year’s elections.
Bolsonaro’s popularity is declining after overseeing the world’s second-deadliest coronavirus outbreak. The latest opinion polls show that he is far behind former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, though he has not officially announced that he will run for next year’s presidential race.
Bolsonaro has pressed for months that Brazil should use the paper ballot, even though not gained much traction has been gained in Congress by a constitutional amendment changing the electoral system.
He promotes a mixed system in which voters submit ballots at electronic urns. This methodology also prints out votes that can be counted in case results are challenged.
The TSE – Brazil’s top electoral authority – has denied unfounded allegations by Bolsonaro that there was fraud in the 2014 election. It clarified electronic voting can be audited well.
The escalation in Bolsonaro’s claims of electoral fraud comes at a fraught time – a few days after a bombshell newspaper report that Brazilian defence minister had laid forth a threat that the next year’s election won’t take place unless printed ballots were used. The claim has not been verified as yet.