Election Calendar: TSE prohibits polls and regulates election surveys

As of January 1, it is mandatory that election surveys for presidential candidates are registered at the Superior Electoral Court (TSE). Resolution n. 23,400, which was approved by the en banc TSE last December 17, prohibits the organization of 2014 election polls.

As of January 1, it is mandatory that election surveys for presidential candidates are registered at the Superior Electoral Court (TSE). Resolution n. 23,400, which was approved by the en banc TSE last December 17, prohibits the organization of 2014 election polls.
Election surveys and polls are not the same thing. Surveys must follow the formalities of scientific procedures, whereas polls consist of a mere collection of voters’ electoral preferences, meeting no formal requirements like segmentation of poll respondents, methodology, amount and origin of field work expenses, etc (Law n. 9,504/1997, Article 33, items I to VII, and Paragraph 1).
In the 2012 municipal elections, it was possible to carry out polls provided their disclosure was accompanied by a warning informing that they consisted of a mere collection of electoral preferences, following no sampling control method. The media is no longer authorized to disclose this type of information during the campaign period.
Surveys on the offices of state governor, senator, congressional, state, and district representatives shall be registered at regional electoral courts. The disclosure of unregistered pieces of information is subject to the application of a fine ranging from R$ 53 thousand to R$ 106 thousand (Law n. 9,504/97, Article 33, Paragraph 3).
Finally, the registration and/or disclosure of electoral data may be challenged before the competent electoral judge by the Prosecution Office, candidates, political parties or coalitions.  
Changes
The above-referenced resolution on the registration and disclosure of 2014 Election surveys include changes like the provision on the use of portable electronic devices like tablets and related equipment, to carry out the survey. However, these devices may be audited by the Electoral Court System “at any time”.
Resolution n. 23,400/2013 also establishes that public opinion surveys carried out on the day before the elections are held may be disclosed at any time, provided they are registered at the TSE at least 5 days before the said disclosure occurs. The so-called “boca de urna” survey (a survey that is carried out in the area surrounding polling stations) is the only exception, as its disclosure is authorized only after the close of polls in the respective State.
The voting times provided for in the resolution shall be observed to make sure that “boca de urna” survey results are properly disclosed. Thus, with regard to races for the offices of state and congressional representatives, senator and state governor, the results of this type of survey may be disclosed only after 5 p.m. local time on Election Day. Information on the first round of the presidential race may be disclosed only after 7 p.m. Brasília time, and, on the second round, only after 8 p.m.
Requests
Until late January, 29 entities and companies that carry out public opinion surveys on the 2014 Elections or candidates had already requested the registration of survey information before the Superior Electoral Court (TSE). Six out of the total requests relate to nationwide surveys, whereas other 23 refer to surveys carried out at the state level.
The registration of surveys can be made online at any time, regardless of the opening hours of the offices of the clerks of electoral courts. The pieces of information and data that are recorded in the system may be accessed by any interested citizen within 30 days.
To access election surveys carried out by entities and agencies that have already filed registration requests before the TSE, click on the tab “Elections”, in the upper segment of the Court’s website, then on the tab “2014 Elections”, then on “Election Surveys”, and, finally, on “Access to registered surveys”.