Elections

The elections in Brazil are held every two years on the first Sunday of October. If there is a need of second round, it occurs on the last Sunday of October.

Are carried out together the federal elections and the state elections, for president and vice president, senator and alternates, governor and vice governor, federal deputies and state deputies. After two years, the municipal elections are held, electing mayor and vice mayor and city councils. Note that the distinguishing criterion is by federal level and not by powers – the representatives from the executive and legislative are elected at the same time.

In case of elections for president and vice president, governor and vice governor, senator and alternates and mayor and vice mayor, the system used is the majority system, in which the most voted candidate will be elected. If none of candidates for president, governor or mayor from a municipality over 200,000 habitants reach the absolute majority of the valid votes, a second round with the two most voted is convened.

On the occasion of city council elections and state deputy and federal deputy, the criterion is proportional, which considers not only the candidate votes, but also his party’s votes. Hence, not always the best voted candidate will be elected. The filling of vacancies will depend on the performance of the whole group of candidates of the party or alliance.

The electoral propaganda is only allowed to begin on the 6th of July, after the deadline for candidacy registration, which goes until the 5th of July. Before the beginning of the electoral propaganda, it is possible to do only the so called intraparty propaganda with the members of the party, which will choose the candidates for that election. The intraparty propaganda, however, only permits the display of posters and banners near the places where the party conventions will be held.

Once authorized, the electoral propaganda could be done in rallies, by displaying posters, by paid spots on the written press, on the internet and, on fixed times on radio and television, with this last one mandatory. The propaganda on radio and television is supposed to be done solely within the gratuity time, with the purchase of extra spaces not being possible. Propaganda on outdoors is forbidden, even if it is by hiring artists to cheer up rallies and electoral meetings. It is also not allowed to distribute t-shirts, caps, key rings and gifts in general that might give any advantage to the voter.

On Election Day, the use of loudspeakers, the disclosure of propaganda through posts, posters, t-shirts, caps or brooches and the grooming of voters (political canvassing near polling station), are considered to be a crime. It is just allowed to make an individual and silent manifestation of the preferred candidate or party, through clothing or flags, bottoms and stamps.

The electoral propaganda is regulated by Law No. 9,504 of 1997, in its Art. 36 to 57-I.

The following article explains how electoral propaganda is ruled in Brazil:

Clean Vote (PDF)

The Electoral law is a ramification of the Constitutional Law and deals fundamentally with the rules that concerns political rights, the party system and the electoral system. The Brazilian Electoral Law has the Constitution, the Electoral Laws and the resolutions of the Superior Electoral Court as its main sources. Adding to them the doctrine and jurisprudence as secondary or accessories sources.

The Brazilian electoral system, according to what has been established on Art. 14 of the Federal Constitution, is exerted by the universal suffrage and by the direct and compulsory vote in secret scrutiny.

The suffrage is considered to be universal not only because it presumes the unanimity popular participation, but also from the great majority, chased off any discrimination of color, race, gender, religion or social or economic condition.

And the suffrage is exerted through the vote, which is a right and is compulsory. Which means, in the Brazilian system, the voter chooses directly all the candidates – mayors, state and federal deputies, senators, governors and the president. If the voter cannot neither vote nor justify his absence, he/she must pay a fine to the Superior Electoral Court, which would be arbitrated by the electoral judge.

The vote is exerted in secret scrutiny and its confidentiality is protected by the Constitution as a clause that cannot be the object of an amendment. In practice, the confidentiality of the vote is guaranteed by the unity of the electronic voting system, by the isolation of the voter in inscrutable cabin, by the security system of the ballot boxes and by the logistic of the election, which remains entirely responsibility of the Superior Electoral Court.