Brazil election agency rejects Bolsonaro push to void votes

Nov 23, 2022, 3:26 AM | Updated: 8:24 pm
FILE - Electoral Court employees work on the final stage of sealing electronic voting machines in p...

FILE - Electoral Court employees work on the final stage of sealing electronic voting machines in preparation for the general election run-off in Brasilia, Brazil, Oct. 19, 2022, ahead of the Oct. 30 second round vote. Valdemar Costa, president of the ruling Liberal Party, is calling on the electoral authority to annul votes cast on more than half of electronic voting machines used in the Oct. 30 election, citing a software bug. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

(AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The head of Brazil’s electoral authority on Wednesday rejected the request from President Jair Bolsonaro and his political party to annul ballots cast on most electronic voting machines, which would have overturned the Oct. 30 election.

Alexandre de Moraes had issued a prior ruling that implicitly raised the possibility that Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party could suffer from such a challenge. He conditioned analysis of the request on the presentation of an amended report to include results from the first electoral round, on Oct. 2, in which the party won more seats in both congressional houses than any other, and he established a 24-hour deadline.

Earlier Wednesday, party president Valdemar Costa and lawyer Marcelo de Bessa held a press conference and said there would be no amended report.

“The complete bad faith of the plaintiff’s bizarre and illicit request … was proven, both by the refusal to add to the initial petition and the total absence of any evidence of irregularities and the existence of a totally fraudulent narrative of the facts,” de Moraes wrote in his decision hours later.

He also ordered the suspension of government funds for the Liberal Party’s coalition until a fine of 23 million reais ($4.3 million) for bad faith litigation is paid.

On Tuesday, de Bessa filed a 33-page request on behalf of Bolsonaro and Costa citing a software bug in the majority of Brazil’s machines — they lack individual identification numbers in their internal logs — to argue all votes they recorded should be nullified. De Bessa said that doing so would leave Bolsonaro with 51% of the remaining valid votes.

Neither Costa nor de Bessa have explained how the bug might have affected election results. Independent experts consulted by The Associated Press said that, while newly discovered, it doesn’t affect reliability and each voting machine is still readily identifiable through other means. In his ruling, de Moraes noted the same.

He also wrote that the challenge to the vote appeared aimed at incentivizing anti-democratic protest movements and creating tumult, and ordered the investigation of Costa and the consultant hired to conduct an evaluation.

“De Moraes’ message to the political establishment is: the game is over. Questioning the result of the elections is not fair play, and people and institutions who do that will be punished harshly,” said Maurício Santoro, a political science professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.

In the press conference on Wednesday, Costa said his intention is merely to prevent the results of the 2022 vote from haunting Brazil into the future.

The electoral authority on Oct. 30 ratified the victory of Bolsonaro’s nemesis, leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and even many of the president’s allies quickly accepted the results. Protesters in cities across the country have steadfastly refused to do the same, particularly with Bolsonaro declining to concede.

Bolsonaro spent more than a year claiming Brazil’s electronic voting system is prone to fraud, without ever presenting evidence.

The South American nation began using an electronic voting system in 1996 and election security experts consider such systems less secure than hand-marked paper ballots, because they leave no auditable paper trail. But Brazil’s system has been closely scrutinized by domestic and international experts who have never found evidence of it being exploited to commit fraud.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., celebrates with his supporters af...
Associated Press

Iowa caucuses, built on myth, lose place at head of the line

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Hy-Vee Hall ballroom in Des Moines erupted in cheers in 2008 when the youthful Illinois senator hinted at the improbable possibility of the feat ahead: “Our time for change has come!” That Iowa, an overwhelmingly white state, would propel Barack Obama’s rise to become America’s first Black president seemed […]
1 day ago
FILE - Former President Donald Trump, left, and Michigan Republican attorney general candidate Matt...
Associated Press

Defeated election conspiracists seek to lead Michigan GOP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Republicans who lost their races for Michigan’s top three statewide offices after promoting falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election are not planning to go quietly. Two of the candidates who denied President Joe Biden’s victory in the state have announced plans to run for the position that leads the state […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Estonia to buy U.S. rocket artillery system in $200M deal

HELSINKI (AP) — NATO member and Russia’s neighbor Estonia is boosting its defense capabilities by acquiring an advanced U.S. rocket artillery system in the Baltic country’s largest arms procurement project ever, defense officials said Saturday. A deal signed Friday for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is worth more than $200 million and includes equipment […]
1 day ago
Members of the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) flies a helicopter to deliver relief go...
Associated Press

Strong quake shakes main Indonesia island, no major damage

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A strong earthquake shook parts of Indonesia’s main island of Java on Saturday, causing panic but only minor damage just two weeks after an equally powerful quake killed hundreds. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 5.7 quake was centered about 18 kilometers (11 miles) southeast of Banjar, a city between […]
1 day ago
Residents show their health code before they enter a market with some shops re-opening for business...
Associated Press

Beijing, Shenzhen scrap COVID-19 tests for public transport

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities on Saturday announced a further easing of COVID-19 curbs with major cities such as Shenzhen and Beijing no longer requiring negative tests to take public transport. The slight relaxation of testing requirements comes even as daily virus infections reach near-record highs, and follows weekend protests across the country by residents […]
1 day ago
FILE - A protester holding flowers is confronted by a policeman during a protest on a street in Sha...
Associated Press

At Shanghai vigil, bold shout for change preceded crackdown

SHANGHAI (AP) — The mourners in Shanghai lit candles and placed flowers. Someone scrawled “Urumqi, 11.24, Rest in Peace” in red on cardboard — referring to the deadly apartment fire in China’s western city of Urumqi that sparked anger over perceptions the country’s strict COVID-19 measures played a role in the disaster. What started as […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Brazil election agency rejects Bolsonaro push to void votes