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The History of Electronic Voting

The computerization of the Electoral Justice began in 1986, during the presidency of Justice Néri da Silveira, with the electronic re-registration of approximately 70 million voters.

In 1994, in the administration of Justice Sepúlveda Pertence, for the first time, the totalization of the general elections by the central computer was made in the Superior Electoral Court.

In 1995, in the administration of Justice Carlos Velloso, the work of informatization of voting began. A commission of lawyers and computer technicians presented a prototype of the electronic ballot box. For the elaboration of the technical project of the electronic ballot box, including the equipment and the programs, a working group was formed that counted on the collaboration of specialists in information technology, electronics and communications of the Electoral Justice, Armed Forces, Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Communications.

Parallel to the studies of the requirements and premises for the construction of the electronic ballot box, the Superior Electoral Court sought to sensitize not only the working body of the Electoral Court to the challenging enterprise but also the other branches of the government, the Legislative, on which the adequacy of the law depended to enable the implementation of electronic voting, and the Executive, which should provide the necessary financial resources.

After five months, during the municipal elections of 1996, the project was concluded. The electronic ballot box, created by TSE, was then tendered for manufacturing. The goal was to acquire ballot boxes capable of registering the vote of a third of the electorate, at the time, around 100 million voters. The acquired ballot boxes were used throughout the state of Rio de Janeiro, in other state capitals and in municipalities with more than 200 thousand voters, totaling 57 cities in the country.

Under the Presidency of Justice Marco Aurélio Mendes de Farias Mello, in 1996 the first electronic voting in Brazil was started. That year, a third of the electorate voted in electronic ballot boxes.

In the 1998 election, two-thirds of voters voted electronically. Finally, in the year 2000, the project was implemented in its entirety, when all the electorate voted electronically. This was followed by the 2002, 2004 and 2006 elections. In 2006, about 125 million Brazilians voted electronically.

It should be noted, however, that the entire process of informatization of electoral processes has been permeated by in-depth studies and strict actions aimed at security and transparency of the process, allowing a reliable record of the will of Brazilian voters, strengthening the country's democracy.


Among the main premises established, we sought:

• Universal solution: Record of the vote by the number of the candidate or party;

• Adherence to current legislation: With the possibility of adaptation to ensure that changes in electoral legislation do not require changes to the electronic ballot box;

• User-friendly process: Easy to use by the voter, with on-screen visualization of the candidate's data before confirmation of the vote;

• Reduced cost: The project should be economically viable due to the high number of polling stations;

• Durability: Possibility of use in several elections, reducing the cost of voting;

• Security: Elimination of the possibility of fraud in the registration of the vote and in the calculation of the result;

• Ease of logistics: Small, rustic, light-weight electronics, easy to store and transport;

• Autonomy: Use of battery in places where there is no electricity.