BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Greater than three weeks after dropping a reelection bid, President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday blamed a software program bug and demanded the electoral authority annul votes forged on most of Brazil’s nation’s digital voting machines, although unbiased consultants say the bug doesn’t have an effect on the reliability of outcomes.
Such an motion would go away 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 Get together, informed reporters.
The electoral authority has already declared victory for Bolsonaro’s nemesis, leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and even most of the president’s allies have accepted the outcomes. Protesters in cities throughout the nation have steadfastly refused to do the identical, significantly with Bolsonaro declining to concede.
Liberal Get together chief Valdemar Costa and an auditor employed by the occasion informed reporters in Brasilia that their analysis discovered all machines courting from earlier than 2020 — practically 280,000 of them, or about 59% of the entire used within the Oct. 30 runoff — lacked particular person identification numbers in inside logs.
Neither defined how that may have affected election outcomes, however mentioned they have been asking the electoral authority to invalidate all votes forged on these machines.
The grievance characterised the bug as “irreparable non-compliance on account of malfunction” that known as into query the authenticity of the outcomes.
Instantly afterward, the pinnacle of the electoral authority issued a ruling that implicitly raised the likelihood that Bolsonaro’s personal occasion may endure from such a problem.
Alexandre de Moraes mentioned the court docket wouldn’t think about the grievance except the occasion presents an amended report inside 24 hours that would come with outcomes from the primary electoral spherical on Oct. 2, wherein the Liberal Get together received extra seats in each congressional homes than every other.
The bug hadn’t been identified beforehand, but consultants 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 exams of Brazil’s electoral system, agreed.
“It doesn’t undermine the reliability or credibility in any manner,” Ruggiero informed The Related Press by telephone. “The important thing level that ensures correctness is the digital signature related to every voting machine.”
Whereas the machines don’t have particular person identification numbers of their inside logs, these numbers do seem on printed receipts that present the sum of all votes forged for every candidate, mentioned Aranha, including the bug was solely detected as a result of efforts by the electoral authority to supply better 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 exterior 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 consultants think about 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 consultants 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 fully secluded within the official residence since his Oct. 30 defeat, inviting widespread hypothesis as as to if 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 carrying pants.
However his his son Eduardo Bolsonaro, a federal lawmaker, has been extra direct.
“We all the time distrusted these machines. … We wish a large audit,” the youthful Bolsonaro mentioned final week at a convention in Mexico Metropolis. “There’s very robust proof to order an investigation of Brazil’s election.”
For its audit, the Liberal Get together employed the Authorized Vote Institute, a bunch that has been crucial of the present system, saying it defies the legislation by failing to supply a digital document of each particular person vote.
In a separate report introduced earlier this month, the Brazilian army 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 recommended that the armed forces, which have been a key element 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 harassed that whereas it had not discovered any proof of fraud within the vote counting, it couldn’t exclude that risk.
Biller reported from Rio de Janeiro. Related Press author Mark Stevenson in Mexico Metropolis contributed to this report.
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