sunny.png
Friday December 2nd, 2022 8:12AM

Bolsonaro contests Brazil election, wants votes annulled

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — More than three weeks after losing a reelection bid, President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday blamed a software bug and demanded the electoral authority annul votes cast on most of Brazil’s nation’s electronic voting machines, though independent experts say the bug doesn't affect the reliability of results.

Such an action would leave Bolsonaro with 51% of the remaining valid votes — and a reelection victory, Marcelo de Bessa, the lawyer who filed the 33-page request on behalf of the president and his Liberal Party, told reporters.

The electoral authority has already declared victory for Bolsonaro's nemesis, leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and even many of the president's allies have accepted the results. Protesters in cities across the country have steadfastly refused to do the same, particularly with Bolsonaro declining to concede.

Liberal Party leader Valdemar Costa and an auditor hired by the party told reporters in Brasilia that their evaluation found all machines dating from before 2020 — nearly 280,000 of them, or about 59% of the total used in the Oct. 30 runoff — lacked individual identification numbers in internal logs.

Neither explained how that might have affected election results, but said they were asking the electoral authority to invalidate all votes cast on those machines.

The complaint characterized the bug as “irreparable non-compliance due to malfunction” that called into question the authenticity of the results.

Immediately afterward, the head of the electoral authority issued a ruling that implicitly raised the possibility that Bolsonaro's own party could suffer from such a challenge.

Alexandre de Moraes said the court would not consider the complaint unless the party offers an amended report within 24 hours that would include results from the first electoral round on Oct. 2, in which the Liberal Party won more seats in both congressional houses than any other.

Creomar de Souza, political analyst of Dharma Political Risk and Strategy, said the wording of de Moraes' ruling indicates the electoral court is likely to reject the appeal.

The bug hadn't been known previously, yet experts said it also doesn't affect results. Each voting machine can still be easily identified through other means, like its city and voting district, according to Wilson Ruggiero, a professor of computer engineering and digital systems at the Polytechnic School of the University of Sao Paulo.

Diego Aranha, an associate professor of systems security at Aarhus University in Denmark, who has participated in official security tests of Brazil's electoral system, agreed.

“It does not undermine the reliability or credibility in any way," Ruggiero told The Associated Press by phone. "The key point that guarantees correctness is the digital signature associated with each voting machine.”

While the machines don't have individual identification numbers in their internal logs, those numbers do appear on printed receipts that show the sum of all votes cast for each candidate, said Aranha, adding the bug was only detected due to the efforts by the electoral authority to provide greater transparency.

Bolsonaro's less than two-point loss to da Silva on Oct. 30 was the narrowest margin since Brazil’s 1985 return to democracy. While the president hasn’t explicitly cried foul, he has refused to concede defeat or congratulate his opponent — leaving room for supporters to draw their own conclusions.

Many have been protesting relentlessly, making claims of election fraud and demanding that the armed forces intervene.

Dozens of Bolsonaro supporters gathered outside the news conference on Tuesday, decked out in the green and yellow of Brazil's flag and chanting patriotic songs. Some verbally attacked and pushed journalists trying to enter the venue.

Bolsonaro spent more than a year claiming Brazil’s electronic voting system is prone to fraud, without ever presenting evidence.

The president’s son, federal lawmaker Eduardo Bolsonaro, repeated that concern at a conference in Mexico last week.

“We always distrusted these machines. ... We want a massive audit,” the younger Bolsonaro said. “There is very strong evidence to order an investigation of Brazil’s election.”

Brazil began using an electronic voting system in 1996 and election security experts consider such systems less secure than hand-marked paper ballots, because they leave no auditable paper trail. But Brazil’s system has been closely scrutinized by domestic and international experts who have never found evidence of it being exploited to commit fraud.

The Senate's president, Rodrigo Pacheco, said Tuesday afternoon that the election results are “unquestionable.”

Bolsonaro has been almost completely secluded in the official residence since his Oct. 30 defeat, inviting widespread speculation as to whether he is dejected or plotting to cling to power.

In an interview with newspaper O Globo, Vice President Hamilton Mourão chalked up Bolsonaro's absence to erysipelas, a skin infection on his legs that he said prevents the president from wearing pants.

For its audit, the Liberal Party hired the Legal Vote Institute, a group that has been critical of the current system, saying it defies the law by failing to provide a digital record of every individual vote.

In a separate report presented earlier this month, the Brazilian military said there were flaws in the country’s electoral systems and proposed improvements, but didn't substantiate claims of fraud from some of Bolsonaro’s supporters.

Analysts have suggested that the armed forces, which have been a key component of Bolsonaro’s administration, may have maintained a semblance of uncertainty over the issue to avoid displeasing the president. In a subsequent statement, the Defense Ministry stressed that while it had not found any evidence of fraud in the vote counting, it could not exclude that possibility.

___

Biller reported from Rio de Janeiro. Associated Press writer Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP World News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Colorado shooting suspect changed name as teenager in Texas
Public records show that the suspect in the fatal shooting of five people at a Colorado gay nightclub changed his name more than six years ago
8:02PM ( 6 minutes ago )
LSU, USC move up behind UGA, Ohio St, Michigan, TCU in CFP
LSU has moved up to fifth and Southern California is sixth in the College Football Playoff rankings behind Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU
7:58PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Bolsonaro contests Brazil election, wants votes annulled
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is contesting his defeat in the October election and calling on the electoral authority to annul votes cast on more than half of electronic voting machines used
7:56PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Bolsonaro contests Brazil election, demands votes be anulled
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is contesting his defeat in the October election and calling on the electoral authority to annul votes cast on more than half of electronic voting machines used
7:31PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Republicans try to stop Saturday voting in Ga. Senate runoff
Republican groups have filed an appeal with Georgia’s highest court in an attempt to prohibit early voting this Saturday in the U.S. Senate runoff election between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker
2:30PM ( 5 hours ago )
2nd Arizona county delays certifying election, for now
A second Republican-controlled Arizona county, Mohave, has delayed certifying results of this month's election
8:04PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
Kazakh president wins new term against weak opposition
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev easily won a new seven-year term in a snap election in which the second biggest choice by voters was to reject all six candidates, the country’s central elections commission said Monday
5:09AM ( 1 day ago )
Trump's growing GOP challengers revive fears of 2016 repeat
No fewer than 10 major Republican White House prospects stepped onto the ballroom stage this weekend for the unofficial opening of the next presidential primary season
12:00PM ( 2 days ago )
Incumbent expected to win Kazakh presidential election
Kazakhstan’s incumbent president is widely expected to secure an easy victory in Sunday’s snap election that comes after bloody unrest shook the country this year and he moved to stifle the influence of his authoritarian predecessor
4:06AM ( 2 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Indonesia quake survivor grieves 11 relatives as he rebuilds
Enjot was tending his cows in the hills around his home when the earth shook, toppling his home, badly hurting his sister-in-law and her two children and killing 11 other relatives
7:34PM ( 35 minutes ago )
'Stock up on blankets': Ukrainians brace for horrific winter
Officials say Ukraine could face rolling blackouts through March because Russian airstrikes have caused what they call “colossal” damage to the power grid
5:25PM ( 2 hours ago )
OECD forecast: High rates, inflation to slow world growth
Hobbled by high interest rates, punishing inflation and Russia’s war against Ukraine, the world economy is expected to eke out only modest growth this year and to expand even more tepidly in 2023
5:18PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
Colorado shooting suspect changed name as teenager in Texas
Public records show that the suspect in the fatal shooting of five people at a Colorado gay nightclub changed his name more than six years ago
8:02PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Colorado club shooting survivor: 'I want to be resilient'
A man who survived a weekend shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs says he wants to be resilient and won't be "taken out by some sick person.”
7:53PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Jury: NCAA not to blame in ex-USC football player's death
A Los Angeles jury has rejected a claim by the widow of a former USC football player who said the NCAA failed to protect him from repeated head trauma that led to his death
7:46PM ( 22 minutes ago )
USC jumps to 5th behind, UGA, Ohio St, Michigan, TCU in CFP
LSU has moved up to fifth and Southern California is sixth in the College Football Playoff rankings behind Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU
7:37PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Biden to continue family tradition of Nantucket Thanksgiving
President Joe Biden's family tradition of spending Thanksgiving on Nantucket may take on a more serious tone this year
7:36PM ( 33 minutes ago )