World reference in the elections’ organizations and pioneer in the adoption of the electronic voting system, the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) continues to be sought by many entities and foreign governments that are interested in learning about the Brazilian Electoral Justice. “The electoral bodies in other countries have a great interest for the work made by TSE in the area of election’s organization,” states the Adviser for international affairs for the Presidency of the Electoral Court, Ciro Leal Martins da Cunha, highlighting that the main interest falls on the Brazilian electronic voting system.
According to Ciro Leal, countries from many continents and cultures seek the Court in order to pursue the proximity and transfer of technology and good practices that can adequate themselves to the local peculiarity. Beyond the electronic voting system, the TSE is searched by other areas in which it has achieved international reconnaissance, like the organization of the elections, the electoral process, accounts control and communication strategies for the voter’s information and awareness-raising.
The establishment of bilateral and multilateral treaties of technical cooperation is a routine practice in international relations and occurs as far as nations seek the experience of other countries in order to find solutions for their own challenges. The cooperation is made not only through the transmission of information and technologies but also by the interexchange of knowledge amongst technicians that go to other countries in order to absorb the adopted good practices.
Electronic voting system
The technology of the electronic voting machine and the knowledge around the electronic voting system is, in fact, the main attraction of the countries that seek to have a cooperation with Brazil. According to Ciro Leal, nations such as Guinea-Bissau, Zambia, Chile, and Argentina, amongst others, have recently visited TSE in order to know more about the electronic voting machine and study the possibility of adopting a similar system.
The visits are always initiated with a demonstration of the voting system to the foreign representatives. “Many times the countries or international organisms come here and we do demonstrations of the electronic voting machine and electronic voting system as a whole,” the adviser explains. “We go to the NOC room (where the electronic voting system is monitored) and show the sophistication and safety of the system, “ he sais.
In the past, the electronic voting machines came to be shared with countries interested in implementing the electronic vote but that is not done by Brazil anymore. According to Ciro Leal, each country has its own political and organizational peculiarities and, because of that, it has its own demands for solutions that, many times, are not answered by the system that is developed here, which focus on the Brazilian peculiarities. Thus, currently, the cooperation in this areas has been developed in the field of transfer of knowledge and technologies so that each country can develop the solution that best adequates to them.
Brazil, on the other hand, constantly seeks, in other countries, innovations that come to aggregate security, transparency, and agility to the electronic voting system that is implemented in the country. And, to that end, international agreements and participation in events perform an important role. “We have an interest in knowing new technologies that exist in the market, be it to use as a supply for the improvement of our systems or to use in order to evaluate additional security solutions to the ones that we already have,” Ciro Leal says. “The development of the electronic voting machine is not stagnated, it is something that is in constant update and evolution,” he completes.
The Brazilian demand
Brazil has also been seeking international partners with better practices in areas in which the Brazilian electoral system can still advance, like, for example, in the segment for accounts control. “Now, with the creation of the Electoral Fund, we will have a greater demand in our area of accounts and audit control. So, it is interesting to know what other countries are doing,” explains the international adviser of TSE.
With this objective, the Electoral Justice has been searching for countries were the electoral financing is completely done by the State, in search for practices that guarantee the control and honesty of the entire process. “We have made an extensive agreement with National Electoral Institute of Mexico and this will be an opportunity for an interesting cooperation in this area of accounts control, in which they have an installed capacity, in term of personnel and systems, which is very wide and agile,” he remembers. A similar initiative was adopted by the National Commission of Campaign Accounts and the Political Financing of the French Republic.