Brazil armed forces’ report on election finds no fraud

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RIO DE JANEIRO — The protection ministry launched a report Wednesday highlighting flaws in Brazil’s electoral programs and proposing enhancements, however there was nothing to substantiate claims of fraud from a few of President Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters protesting his Oct. 30 defeat.

It was the primary remark by the army on the runoff election, which has drawn protests nationwide even because the transition has begun for President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s inauguration Jan. 1. 1000’s have been gathering outdoors army installations in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia and different cities calling for intervention by the armed forces to maintain Bolsonaro in workplace.

When the protection ministry introduced this week that it could current its report on the election, some Bolsonaro supporters rejoiced, anticipating the upcoming revelation of a smoking gun. That didn’t occur.

“There is nothing astonishing in the document,” Diego Aranha, an affiliate professor of programs safety at Aarhus College in Denmark, who has been a member of the Brazilian electoral authority’s public safety assessments, advised The Related Press. “The limitations found are the same ones analysts have been complaining about for decades … but that doesn’t point to evidence of irregularity.”

Protection Minister Paulo Nogueira wrote that “it is not possible to say” with certainty the computerzed vote tabulation system hasn’t been infilitrated by malicious code, however the 65-page report doesn’t cite any abnormalities within the vote rely. Based mostly on the attainable threat, nonetheless, the report suggests making a fee comprised of members of civil society and auditing entities to additional examine the functioning of the digital voting machines.

Bolsonaro, whose lower than two-point loss was the narrowest margin since Brazil’s 1985 return to democracy, hasn’t particularly cried foul for the reason that election.

Nonetheless, his continued refusal to concede defeat or congratulate his opponent left ample room for supporters to attract their very own conclusions. And that adopted greater than a yr of Bolsonaro repeatedly claiming Brazil’s digital voting system is liable to fraud, with out ever presenting any proof — even when ordered to take action by the electoral authority.

Within the months main as much as the vote, as polls confirmed him trailing da Silva, Bolsonaro pushed for the army to tackle an expanded function within the electoral course of. The election authority, in a gesture apparently aimed toward placating the president, allowed for armed forces’ unprecedented participation. The report introduced Wednesday was signed by the protection minister and representatives from the military, navy and air drive.

The electoral authority stated in an announcement it “received with satisfaction the defense ministry’s final report that, like all other oversight bodies, did not point to the existence of any fraud or inconsistency in the electronic voting machines and 2022 electoral process.”

Bolsonaro didn’t instantly touch upon the report, nor did the presidential palace reply to an AP e-mail. His get together’s chief stated Tuesday the president would query election outcomes provided that the report offered “real” proof.

Da Silva, talking Wednesday within the capital, Brasilia, on his first go to for the reason that election, advised reporters that the vote was clear and Brazil’s digital voting machine system is an achievement.

“No one will believe coup-mongering discourse from someone who lost the elections,” da Silva stated. “We know that the institutions were attacked by some government authorities.”

Brazil started utilizing an digital voting system in 1996. Election safety consultants think about such programs much less safe than hand-marked paper ballots, as a result of they depart no auditable paper path. Brazil’s system is, nonetheless, carefully scrutinized and home authorities and worldwide observers have by no means discovered proof of it being exploited to commit fraud. Outdoors safety audits have been performed to stop the system’s software program from being surreptitiously altered. As well as, previous to election day, assessments are performed to guarantee no tampering has occurred.

The electoral authority stated in its assertion Wednesday that it could analyze the protection ministry’s strategies. Aranha, the system safety professor, stated the army’s strategies to deal with flaws aren’t particular and would really make an audit much more tough.

This yr, the armed forces additionally performed a partial audit, evaluating a whole bunch of voting stations’ outcomes to the official tally. The thought was first floated by Bolsonaro, who in Could stated they “will not perform the role of just rubber stamping the electoral process, or taking part as spectators.”

The federal authorities’s accounts watchdog carried out a partial audit much like that of the army, tallying votes in 604 voting machines throughout Brazil. It discovered no discrepancies. Likewise, Brazil’s Bar Affiliation stated in a report Tuesday that it had discovered nothing that pointed to suspicion of irregularities.

“There are important lessons from all this,” stated Paulo Calmon, a political science professor on the College of Brasilia, who continued: “primarily, the idea to formally involve the armed forces in electoral processes is an error that should never be repeated.”

Related Press author Carla Bridi reported from Brasilia. AP videojournalist Juan Arraez and author David Biller in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.

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