2022 Race

Electoral court revokes pro-Bolsonaro colonel’s access to ballot box source code

Army Colonel Ricardo Sant’ana (wearing a green mask), seen here inspecting the source code of electronic voting machines on August 3, was stripped of his access. Photo: Antonio Augusto/Secom/TSE
Army Colonel Ricardo Sant’ana (wearing a green mask), seen here inspecting the source code of electronic voting machines on August 3, was stripped of his access. Photo: Antonio Augusto/Secom/TSE

Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court revoked an Army colonel’s credentials to inspect the source code of electronic voting machines.

In a letter to the Defense Ministry, Justice Edson Fachin argued that inspection roles “should not be occupied by those who prima facie deny the Brazilian electoral system and circulate disinformation about it.”

Last Friday, online newspaper Metrópoles showed that Army colonel Ricardo Sant’ana posted disinformation and conspiracy theories regarding Brazil’s voting system on his Facebook page. The page has since been deleted. 

Col. Sant’ana was a member of the Defense Ministry delegation given permission to inspect the voting machine source code. 

In one of the videos shared by Col. Sant’ana, a man is denied a receipt after playing the lottery, alluding to the fact that Brazil’s electronic voting machines do not issue printed receipts. The colonel also shared an image stating that “Voting for the [Workers’ Party] is exercising one’s right to be an idiot.”

As The Brazilian Report showed, Brazil’s Defense Minister Paulo Sérgio Nogueira made an “urgent” request to the Superior Electoral Court last week requesting access to the source code of electronic voting machines.

electoral court This room, open since October 2021, hosts a number of computers where several institutions can send representatives to verify the source code of voting machines. Photo: Cedê Silva/TBR
This room, open since October 2021, hosts a number of computers where several institutions can send representatives to verify the source code of voting machines. Photo: Cedê Silva/TBR

In October 2021, the court made the source code available for several institutions to analyze. 

Several institutions have already sent representatives to inspect the source codes, including the Prosecutor General’s Office, one federal university, and the Senate.

Representatives of the military began their inspection last week.

The Defense Ministry has yet to reply to The Brazilian Report‘s request for comment.