BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Greater than three weeks after shedding a reelection bid, President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday blamed a software program bug and demanded the electoral authority annul votes solid on most of Brazil’s nation’s digital voting machines, although unbiased specialists say the bug doesn’t have an effect on the reliability of outcomes.
Such an motion would depart Bolsonaro with 51% of the remaining legitimate votes — and a reelection victory, Marcelo de Bessa, the lawyer who filed the 33-page request on behalf of the president and his Liberal Celebration, informed reporters.
The electoral authority has already declared victory for Bolsonaro’s nemesis, leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and even lots of the president’s allies have accepted the outcomes. Protesters in cities throughout the nation have steadfastly refused to do the identical, notably with Bolsonaro declining to concede.
Liberal Celebration chief Valdemar Costa and an auditor employed by the celebration informed reporters in Brasilia that their analysis discovered all machines relationship from earlier than 2020 — practically 280,000 of them, or about 59% of the full used within the Oct. 30 runoff — lacked particular person identification numbers in inner logs.
Neither defined how which may have affected election outcomes, however mentioned they have been asking the electoral authority to invalidate all votes solid on these machines.
The grievance characterised the bug as “irreparable non-compliance due to malfunction” that known as into query the authenticity of the outcomes.
Instantly afterward, the top of the electoral authority issued a ruling that implicitly raised the likelihood that Bolsonaro’s personal celebration may endure from such a problem.
Alexandre de Moraes mentioned the courtroom wouldn’t take into account the grievance until the celebration presents an amended report inside 24 hours that would come with outcomes from the primary electoral spherical on Oct. 2, during which the Liberal Celebration gained extra seats in each congressional homes than some other.
The bug hadn’t been recognized beforehand, but specialists mentioned it additionally doesn’t have an effect on outcomes. Every voting machine can nonetheless be simply recognized by means of different means, like its metropolis and voting district, based on Wilson Ruggiero, a professor of pc engineering and digital techniques on the Polytechnic College of the College of Sao Paulo.
Diego Aranha, an affiliate professor of techniques safety at Aarhus College in Denmark, who has participated in official safety assessments of Brazil’s electoral system, agreed.
“It does not undermine the reliability or credibility in any way,” Ruggiero informed The Related Press by telephone. “The key point that guarantees correctness is the digital signature associated with each voting machine.”
Whereas the machines don’t have particular person identification numbers of their inner logs, these numbers do seem on printed receipts that present the sum of all votes solid for every candidate, mentioned Aranha, including the bug was solely detected because of the efforts by the electoral authority to offer larger transparency.
Bolsonaro’s lower than two-point loss to da Silva on Oct. 30 was the narrowest margin since Brazil’s 1985 return to democracy. Whereas the president hasn’t explicitly cried foul, he has refused to concede defeat or congratulate his opponent — leaving room for supporters to attract their very own conclusions.
Many have been protesting relentlessly, making claims of election fraud and demanding that the armed forces intervene.
Dozens of Bolsonaro supporters gathered outdoors the information convention on Tuesday, decked out within the inexperienced and yellow of Brazil’s flag and chanting patriotic songs. Some verbally attacked and pushed journalists making an attempt to enter the venue.
Bolsonaro spent greater than a 12 months claiming Brazil’s digital voting system is liable to fraud, with out ever presenting proof.
Brazil started utilizing an digital voting system in 1996 and election safety specialists take into account such techniques much less safe than hand-marked paper ballots, as a result of they go away no auditable paper path. However Brazil’s system has been carefully scrutinized by home and worldwide specialists who’ve by no means discovered proof of it being exploited to commit fraud.
The Senate’s president, Rodrigo Pacheco, mentioned Tuesday afternoon that the election outcomes are “unquestionable.”
Bolsonaro has been virtually utterly secluded within the official residence since his Oct. 30 defeat, inviting widespread hypothesis as as to whether he’s dejected or plotting to cling to energy.
In an interview with newspaper O Globo, Vice President Hamilton Mourão chalked up Bolsonaro’s absence to erysipelas, a pores and skin an infection on his legs that he mentioned prevents the president from sporting pants.
However his his son Eduardo Bolsonaro, a federal lawmaker, has been extra direct.
“We always distrusted these machines. … We want a massive audit,” the youthful Bolsonaro mentioned final week at a convention in Mexico Metropolis. “There is very strong evidence to order an investigation of Brazil’s election.”
For its audit, the Liberal Celebration employed the Authorized Vote Institute, a bunch that has been important of the present system, saying it defies the legislation by failing to offer a digital report of each particular person vote.
In a separate report introduced earlier this month, the Brazilian navy mentioned there have been flaws within the nation’s electoral techniques and proposed enhancements, however didn’t substantiate claims of fraud from a few of Bolsonaro’s supporters.
Analysts have prompt that the armed forces, which have been a key part of Bolsonaro’s administration, could have maintained a semblance of uncertainty over the difficulty to keep away from displeasing the president. In a subsequent assertion, the Protection Ministry careworn that whereas it had not discovered any proof of fraud within the vote counting, it couldn’t exclude that chance.
Biller reported from Rio de Janeiro. Related Press author Mark Stevenson in Mexico Metropolis contributed to this report.