Brazil’s Federal Accounts Court — a sort of audit tribunal that monitors public spending — on Monday confirmed it will inspect the receipts of 540 voting machines on Election Day (October 2). The number is a huge reduction from the 4,161 the court had, on September 16, originally pledged to inspect.
After polling stations close, poll workers print out bulletins from voting machines, a receipt showing how many votes each candidate got in a given ballot box. The results on the printouts can be compared with the official count for auditing purposes.
The Accounts Court serves as a supervisory body for the elections, and its move to inspect voting receipts was seen by many as a hedge against the Armed Forces, which intend to carry out their own unofficial audit, as a source within the Defense Ministry confirmed to The Brazilian Report last week.
Political observers fear that President Jair Bolsonaro may use the military’s “audit” to discredit the voting system in an attempt to overthrow the results.
Only after the elections’ results are made official by the Electoral Court will the Accounts Court randomly select 4,161 voting machines for a second inspection of their vote receipts. A report on this assessment will be published by November.
This will be the first time the court will carry out inspections of vote receipts.