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Printed vote

The Law nº. 12.034/2009 predicted some changes in the electronic voting system in Brazil, including the return of the use of the "printed vote", since  2014 in elections.  However, understanding that, among other reasons, the printing of votie violates the Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees a secret vote on September 19, 2011, the Justice of the Supreme Court (STF) granted an injunction relief to suspend, until the prejudice, the application of printed vote in the election of 2014.

The decision of the Supreme Court, unanimously, occurred in the judgment of the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (ADI) 4543, filed by the General Prosecutor of Republic.

Mini electoral reform

The printed vote was approved by Congress in September 2009, at the time of the Mini electoral reform. According to the text contained in Law nº. 12,034, the electronic voting machine will show screens related to  the type votes and, after the voter’s confirmation, the machine should print a unique identification number of the vote associated with its own digital signature.

The same rule also provides that this printed document is deposited automatically, without manual contact of the voter, in a place previously sealed, and then undergo, it will be submitted an independent audit in a public hearing to be held by the Electoral Court after the end of voting. The objective of this procedure is to compare the results presented in the electronic voting machine with the outcome of the vote printed.


The Electoral Justice is contrary to the printed vote since the enactment of Law 12,034, considering this procedure a regression to the times of manual voting. When the project was approved by the Congress, the president of the TSE in that moment, Minister Ayres Britto, asked the president to veto the provision in the law. In the opinion of the minister, there was no sense to have the printed vote since the same efficiency checking of votes can be achieved electronically, eliminating the extra expense required for printing the votes.

The printed vote in Brazil in the 2002 general elections, as provided in Law No. 10.408/2002 in all polling stations in the state of Sergipe, the Federal District and in over 73 municipalities in all units of the Federation. About 7 million voters voted in the ballot-printing voting.

The system, however, among other disadvantages, showed a large number of fault, preventing the fluent course of work on the polling. Moreover, the establishment costs were too high, the delay in the vote was higher than in sections where there were no printed vote, the number of crashes was significant at the printers and the procedure was in charge of the program longer.

The law No. 10.740/2003 replaced the printed vote by digital vote record.