Electronic Voting is already a reality in more than 30 countries

Urna eletrônica

As the fifth most populous country of the world, Brazil also has one of the most modern voting systems already implanted, with electronic mechanisms of collection and voting gauguing that have been fast and trustworthy. Due to this technology, the country is one the few that can anounce the elections’ results a few hours after the end of the voting process.

Those who think that electronic voting is a Brazilian exclusivity are somewhat mistaken. According to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), situated in Stockholm (Sweden), 32 countries took advantage of the technological advancement to accelerate and guarantee the integrity of their electoral processes.

The list includes nations with a solid democratic tradition like Switzerland, Canada, Australia and the United States (in some states). In Latin America, Mexico and Peru also make use of the system. In Asia, beyond Japan and South Korea, there is the example of India. As the greatest democracy of the world, by number of voters (more than 800 millions), the country uses electronic voting machines that are simillar to the Brazilian machines but that are adapted to their electoral reality.

Brazil, however, is one of the few countries that managed to expand electronic voting for almost the total amount of voters. Implanted on 1996, the system became an international reference, luring the interest of many nations, which search to strenghten their cooperation with the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) with the means of knonwing and profiting from the Brazilian experience.

The cooperation has already lent voting machines developed by the TSE for some countries, such as the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Equador, Argentina, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti and Mexico, which have used it in pilot projects. Paraguay, in turn, used the Brazilian electronic voting machines in their 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2006 elections.

Currently, according to the IT secretary of the TSE, Giuseppe Janino, the lending category was replaced by deals of knowledge interexchange. “We are a world refence in this subject and the cooperation deals that were signed are an opportunity for Brazil to transfer knowledge. The deal is not made in order to give equipment or transfer softwares but, rather, to transfer knowledge, because each country has its own reality,” Janino highlights.

Delegations of many countries visited Brazil to learn about the electronic voting system. At the 2016 Municipality elections, for example, more then 30 nations sent authorities to accompany the election dispute and to learn more about the Brazilian system, such as Angola, Bolivia, Botswana, South Korea, Costa Rica, the United States, France, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic and Russia.

Missions and treaties

According to the chief of TSE’s International Advisory Counsel (AIN), Ciro Leal, from 1996 until today, the TSE has signed more than 40 cooperation treaties and sent more than 30 technical missions to other countries. “We have also received 70 on-site visits. All of them with the electronic system as a focus of interest of the international partners,” he explains.

The Brazilian electronic voting machine was idealized and created to meet the national reality. “We did not go to the market to acquire a solution for the vote automation. We have developed an internal project. This solution has the diferential of serving exatcly our necessities and fiting exatcly in our reality,” the secretary Giuseppe Janino highlights.

Thus, when a mission comes to Brazil in order to learn about the electronic voting system, we do an exposure of all the historic development of the electronic voting machine. The exposures are always done with a detailing technical degree about the machine and all the electronic voting system. The visitors’ common doubts are about the possibility of tracking the votes that are typed on the machine, the degree of safety in the transmission of the data in the machine and the programs used to process the votes, amongst other issues.

Demonstrations throughout the world

The TSE has already done many demonstrations and presentations to disclose the Brazilian electronic voting system. At Cape Verde, Mozambique and South Africa, for example, Brazil has participated in international events about the theme. For Guinea-Bissau, a Brazilian mission was sent to support the elections of that country. And, in Asia, visits to Japan and Siri Lanka, amonst others. In America, countries like Agentina, Peru, Bolivia, Haiti, Panama and the United States have requested technical informations about the Brazilian electronic voting system. Countries in Europe, such as England, Russia and Italy, amongst others, have shown an interest in Brazil’s electoral system.