Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Presidential candidate in Brazil to seek own voting system audit

In the feverish run up to the Brazilian elections in October, President Jair Bolsonaro is seeking an audit of the voting system, a move that comes after the embattled leader had relentlessly questioned the credibility of the country’s voting systems.

“As allowed by electoral law, we will hire a company to do the audit,” Bolsonaro said.

“People want transparent elections in which the vote is effectively counted for their candidate.”

The president’s sweeping claims had been met with backlash, the most furious of which had come from Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court judges who had flatly refuted Bolsonaro’s allegations and categorically declaring that Brazil’s electoral system is free of fraud.

Luis Barroso, president of Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court, once fired back at Bolsonaro saying “threatening the realization of an election represents anti-democratic behavior. Polluting the public debate with disinformation, lies, hatred and conspiracy theories represents anti-democratic behavior.”

Surprisingly, Bolsonaro appears to have made a fatal misstep as a recent Genial/Quaest opinion survey shows that his bombastic attacks on the voting system is turning off moderate voters. Furthermore, despite the vitriol spewed against the voting system, trust of electronic voting machines among Brazilians has increased to 22% of the electorate from a low of 27% in September, the survey revealed.

More alarmingly for Bolsonaro, the poll also showed that voter support for him dipped after three months of gains against former Lula.

The survey indicated that if the elections were held in April, Lula would have won 46% of the votes against 29% for Bolsonaro. Lula is on track to reaching 50% of the votes and winning the election right in the first round, according to the survey. In case the contest goes to a second-round runoff, the survey said that Lula would defeat Bolsonaro by 54% versus 34%.

"Voters believe the president is wrong to confront the Supreme Court, to question the credibility of electronic voting machines," said survey director Felipe Nunes.

Moderate voters are the swing votes that could be key to winning the election because most supporters of Bolsonaro or Lula have already decided who they will vote for.