Ficha Limpa and ballot box safety are important matters in a press conference with the minister Dias Toffoli

Ficha Limpa and ballot box safety are important matters in a press conference with the minister Dias Toffoli.

On July 29 (Tuesday), after presenting the 2014 constituency statistics, the president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), minister Dias Toffoli, gave a press conference. Among the matters discussed, there was the enforcement of Ficha Limpa (Clean Record) Act (LC no. 135/2010) for the first time in a general election and the electronic ballot box safety. The ministers Henrique Neves, Luciana Lóssio, Admar Gonzaga and Tarcísio Vieira also attended the press conference.

According to the president of TSE, the enforcement of Ficha Limpa Act in the 2012 municipal elections and in the 2014 general elections shows that “the political parties have avoided or have better screened candidates” due to the risk of denial of candidacy registrations by the Electoral Court System based on ineligibility events provided for in law.

Concerning the analysis of requests for candidacy registration of the 2014 elections, the minister Dias Toffoli stated that the Electoral Court System will manage to decide on such actions in a swift manner, “timely, before October 5”. Such is the case, according to him, due to one characteristic of the general elections: in addition to the number of candidates and, as a consequence, the number of denials being inferior to the one in a municipal election dispute, there is one less instance in the general election, since there is no analysis of the electoral judge.

As to the dispute in electoral campaigns, the minister Dias Toffoli pointed out that from January 1 to July 28 of this year, only 46 representations related to ad-lib campaign advertising and forbidden conduct, among others, were filed in TSE against candidates running for President of Brazil. Such number is inferior to the one in the 2006 and 2010 elections years. He stated: “From the point of view of the Electoral Court System, the [presidential] campaign has, in general, been properly conducted, in accordance with the institutional parameters”.

Electronic ballot boxes

On the subject of electronic ballot boxes, the president of TSE remarked that, during the 18 years of use of the electronic voting system, only one formal objection was made concerning the equipment safety and reliability.

According to him, “the major reliability of the electronic ballot boxes is exemplified by such number. The system is completely safe. The political parties and candidates running for president of Brazil, that is, those who have greater interest in the safety of vote counting and of the electoral system showed, in public hearing related to the electronic voting system, no resistance to the electronic ballot box. And the Brazilian voter trusts the electronic ballot box”.

The minister clarified that TSE will not conduct, in 2014, public safety tests on the electronic voting system since the programs to be used in this year’s elections are the same ones previously used, having been exhaustively tested and approved, only submitted to technical improvements.

The president of TSE explained that organizing such tests is expensive and takes approximately one year. Also, the Court conducted such tests in 2009 and voluntarily in 2012; thus, without obligation or legal provision.

The minister also discussed other tools for overseeing the safety of electronic ballot boxes, such as parallel voting, participation in the development of electoral systems and the Digital Signing and Sealing Ceremony. The political parties, the Prosecution Office and the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) may follow up all such events.

Other numerical data

The president of TSE also presented other data in relation to the constituency of this year. According to him, 148,667 voters with a type of disability or reduced mobility have made the request to vote in a special section, prepared to meet the needs of such public.

The minister also addressed the number of poll workers that will work in the election dispute in October. The Electoral Court System expects such number to be approximately of two million poll workers, including the ones that have volunteered and the ones that have been called.

Furthermore, according to the minister Dias Toffoli, the election will have approximately 530,000 electronic ballot boxes, and from such number, only 72,000 will not have the biometric identification reader.

Access here the statistics of the 2014 constituency.