Jair Bolsonaro, the frontrunner of Brazil’s presidential race, has cast doubt over the integrity of Brazil’s electronic voting system. And he’s not the first to do so. Since its implementation two decades ago, Brazil’s electronic voting system has been the subject of much debate about its possible vulnerability to hacker attacks, as well as a perceived lack of transparency in the counting of ballots.
In 2014, the presidential race was decided by the narrowest margin ever recorded, with 51.64 percent of voters going to Workers’ Party candidate Dilma Rousseff against 48.36 percent to Aécio Neves, of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party. The proximity of the result led the defeated party to request a recount from the Superior Electoral Court, “so that the credibility of the electoral process wouldn’t be called into question.” The absence of printed ballots to match the electronic votes is, time and time again, mentioned as being the system’s fundamental vulnerability. Paper ballots, after all, would allow for a physical recount of the votes.