2022 Race

Chief electoral judge unveils new voting machines, drawing line under fraud allegations

voting machines marijuana
Brazil’s new voting machines. Photo: Abdias Pinheiro/SECOM/TSE

During a visit to the factory manufacturing the 225,000 new electronic voting machines to be used in next year’s general election, Supreme Court Justice Luís Roberto Barroso — who is also head of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) — said that any security concerns about the country’s voting system have been put to bed. For months, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and his supporters had called the electronic voting machines into question, based on unfounded allegations of fraud.

“We can’t control people’s imagination. There are people who think man never landed on the moon,” said Justice Barroso. “The fiercest critics [of the electronic voting machines] have already toned down their attacks. The matter is settled. President Bolsonaro himself has spoken about the system’s credibility.”

Justice Barroso was speaking at a press conference to present the new model of voting machines to be used in next year’s elections, which the TSE promises will be more modern, safer, and with more accessibility tools. Each phase of the manufacturing process is monitored by a team of the TSE’s technology analysts.

The UE2020 is manufactured by Positivo Tecnologia, which was awarded the government contract to deliver 225,000 machines, out of the 577,000 which will be used in next year’s vote. According to the TSE, the manufacturing process “follows strict security standards.”

During the press conference, Justice Barroso said it was impossible to “attack the ballot box,” stating that the electoral courts have worked hard to avoid the risk of cyberattacks and fraud after the recurring instances in different tech sectors of late. 

“Cyberattacks are recent phenomena. The entire world is preparing itself for them… Everything is vulnerable on a network, so what we did was take the ballot box off the network. There is no way to attack the ballot box.”