In an article, published this Tuesday (24th), in the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, the president of TSE, justice Luiz Fux, and the justice of Foreign Affairs, Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, highlighted the importance of Brazilians that vote from abroad, which, since the Federal Constitution of 1988, can participate in Brazil’s democratic process by voting for the president of the Republic. Fux and Aloysio emphasize that it is up to the State, by means of the effort of the three Powers of the Republic, “to facilitate the exercise of citizenship in many corners of the earth,” and reaffirm the compromise of the Electoral Justice and the Department of Foreign Affairs in working in this sense. In the articles, they inform that, from 1989 until this year, the number of Brazilians registered in other countries has passed from 18.5 thousand to more than 500 thousand.
Check the full article below:
Vote in other countries: a conjoint effort for democracy
Authors: Luiz Fux and Aloysio Nunes Ferreira*
There is no democracy without vote and no vote without citizenship. It was the constitutional text of 1988 - the “Constituição Cidadã” (Citizen’s Constitution) - that extended to Brazilians who live outside, the right to participate in Brazil’s democratic process. Since the 1989 elections, our citizens can vote in order to elect the president of the Republic in the Brazilian Consular Offices spread throughout the world.
This is an unswerving commitment of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Electoral Justice, which have worked together, since 2015, in order to facilitate the exercise of the vote from abroad. This effort has allowed to significantly increase the number of Brazilian voters registered abroad, which passed from 18.5 thousand in 1989 to more than 500 thousand this year. To this end, campaigns have been frequently created in order to encourage electoral registration.
Brazilian emigrants keep a strict relationship with the country, be it through friends and family or through indelible association with our culture, a way of living and thinking. It is natural - if desirable - that they can share the commitment with the future of the nation and with the construction of a country that is juster, more prosperous, peaceful and democratic.
To that end, the geographic reach of the vote from abroad has been increasing, in the last decades. In the 2018 elections, it will not be different. The voters will be able to go to more than 200 cities spread throughout the world where there are consular offices, in addition to 33 polling stations in places where there is no permanent representation.
These are the cases of Florence and Venice (Italy); Cologne and Hamburg (Germany); Orlando, Salt Lake City, and Framingham (USA) - this last, is an important stronghold for Brazilian immigrants -; Winnipeg (Canada); Beqaa Valley (Lebanon); where an expressive community of Brazilians with a Lebanese origin; Suzuka (Japan); among others.
A mechanism that came to facilitate the electoral registry and transfer was the Titulonet from abroad, which provides the performance of these processes in practically real time.
Another advancement, implemented by the Electoral Justice, was the substitution of the paper voter's card, which was printed in Brazil and transported through a diplomatic case, by the e-título (e-title), which can be downloaded online and printed by the owner.
We know that there is still much to be done in order to stimulate the vote from abroad and increase the participation of our fellow citizens in the Brazilian electoral process, such as improving the electoral registration system and finding solutions in order to reduce the physical distance between the polling station and the houses of dozens of voters. These demands, expressed in the 1ª Conferência “Brasileiros no Mundo” (1st Conference “Brazilians in the World”), performed on July 2008, have been up to discussion in the conjoint work of Itamaraty with the Electoral Justice.
The Brazilian vote from abroad is a powerful instrument of citizenship and national union. It contributes to reconnect with our brothers and sisters spread throughout the world with their people and their homeland.
The State - by means of the efforts and the three Powers of the Republic - shall facilitate the exercise of citizenship in many corners of the earth, so that voters from abroad can perform the high mission of going to the electronic voting machines and be a part of the strengthening of our democracy and the destinies of our country.
* Aloysio Nunes Ferreira is the justice of Foreign Affairs and licensed senator (PSDB-SP)
* Luiz Fux é a justice from the Supreme Federal Court (STF) and president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE)