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Instituted in 1932, the Electoral Justice has always held as principle the moralization of the elections. The first Brazilian electoral code, which was created simultaneously, established a series of measures to prevent "electoral vices", and already planned the use of the voting machine. Being responsible for all electoral services (enrollment, organization of the voting boards, vote counting and proclamation of the elects), the Electoral Justice has adopted mechanisms to guarantee the integrity of the elections.
Votes in Brazil at one point were executed in up to four steps: the citizens of the provinces voted in other voters - the compromisers -, who chose the parish voters, who chose the district voters. Finally, these were the ones to elect the deputies. After some time, elections began to be held in two steps. This lasted until 1881, when the Saraiva Law introduced the direct elections.
Initially, votes were deposited in wax balls called pelouros; later, there were the wooden boxes, then iron and canvas voting machines, until the computerized vote was implemented in the entire country in 2000, through electronic voting machines, which made the nearly immediate counting of votes possible.
In the 60's, Ricardo Puntel invented and offered a voting machine model to the TSE, which was not used. It was foreseen that the neutrality of machines, which do not have emotion or ambition, not only would make counting almost instantaneous, but also would decrease the volume of fraud.
In 1978, the Regional Electoral Court (TRE) of Minas Gerais presented a prototype for the mechanization of the electoral process to the TSE.
After isolated initiatives by some Regional Courts that developed new ideas regarding the automation of the elections, the TRE of Rio Grande do Sul developed a pilot project for the computerization of the enrollment of voters in the state.
In 1981, the then president of the Superior Electoral Court, Minister Moreira Alves, sent a draft law to the President of the Republic, João Baptista Figueiredo, on the use of electronic processing in electoral services, which was officially established in 1982, through Law 6996.
Three years later, in 1985, Law 7444 focused on the use of electronic processing in the electoral enrollment and in the revision of the electorate, which led to a new registration of 69,3 million voters, who received new registration certificates, each with a unique national number.
In the presidential election of 1989, it was possible to totalize the results through computerized means in the TSE. The data was received directly from the regional electoral courts through modem.
The success of this initiative led to the computerization of the TRE of Minas Gerais in 1991; the electronic totalization of the results of the municipal elections of 1992 in approximately 1,800 municipalities; and finally the electronic counting of the plebiscite of 1993 in all of the Brazilian municipalities. The general elections of 1994 counted with a completely computerized vote totalization as well.
However, it was only in the municipal elections of 1996 that the Electoral Justice began the process of computerizing the vote. Nearly 33 million voters used the "voting machine" then.
In the general elections of 1998, the computerized balloting reached near 75 million voters. Starting from 2000, all of the voters were able to use the electronic voting machines to choose their candidates. More than 108 million voters were able to benefit from the electronic vote to choose mayors and councilmen. Two years later, in the general elections of 2002, almost 115 million citizens had access to the electronic voting machines.
In the first round of the municipal elections of 2004, with an electorate of 119 million people, more than 402,000 electronic voting machines were used. In the referendum of October 23rd, 2005, 95,375,824 people among the 122,042,825 able to vote went to the polls. Nearly 406,000 voting machines were used, guaranteeing, once more, the agility in the counting and security to the vote. In the general elections of 2006, the counting in record time confirmed the electronic voting system adopted in Brazil.