TSE creates a workgroup to address the security of electronic voting machines

Imagem mostrando a urna eletrônica.

To study and deliver security solutions to issues that keep connection to Brazil´s electronic voting system. This is the purpose of the workgroup created by the Superior Electoral Court and established in Ordinance n. 215, published on April 11 in the electronic edition of TSE´s Official Journal.
According to the aforementioned Ordinance, the multidisciplinary group will be responsible for mapping security requirements of the various stages of the elections, representing before state courts in actions resulting from fraud in the electronic voting system, and formulating a national security plan for e-voting, which is to be broadly disseminated at the Information Technology Department of each Regional Electoral Court (TRE).
The team is also expected to propose an efficient audit model for electronic voting and vote-counting system, one that follows the same standards of internal audit and that may be applied by regional courts both during and after elections. Moreover, the team is responsible for preparing institutional material with the aim of disclosing elections´ security mechanisms to the society.
In addition to the duties and responsibilities detailed above, workgroup members will be entitled to review, propose and validate implementation models for upcoming security tests of e-voting machines.
As set forth in Ordinance n. 215, the group is expected to submit periodic reviews on its work and accomplishments to the Director-General of the Secretariat of the Superior Electoral Court. All meetings are to be held in Brasília, unless specified otherwise, at the discretion of the director-general.
Brazil´s first computerized elections were held in 1996, occasion in which more than 32 million Brazilians from 57 cities, including 26 capital cities, cast their votes using electronic voting machines. These figures account for one third of the electorate of that time.  
In an article published in national press on September 29, 1999, that is one week before the first round of elections was held, Justice Marco Aurélio, who chaired the TSE at that time, stated: “The Electoral Court System has reasons to believe that it will not be difficult to voters to cast their votes under the new e-voting system. Electronic voting machines are user-friendly and underwent exhaustive pre-election testing”.
The president of the TSE also considered that: “This is merely the first step. The Electoral Court System fulfills its duty convinced that it counts on the support of all political forces in the country to pursue a greater objective: the constant improvement of democracy”.
Six years later, the electronic voting machines were distributed nationwide, and the country´s first fully computerized elections occurred in 2002. The Electoral Court System has been concentrating efforts ever since as to improve the electronic voting system and to meet the challenges posed by a significant growth in Brazil´s electorate.