BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — More than three weeks after dropping a reelection bid, President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday blamed a software program bug and demanded the electoral authority annul votes solid on most of Brazil’s nation’s digital voting machines, although unbiased consultants say the bug doesn’t have an effect on the reliability of outcomes.
Such an motion would go away Bolsonaro with 51% of the remaining legitimate votes — and a reelection victory, Marcelo de Bessa, the lawyer who filed the 33-page request on behalf of the president and his Liberal Party, instructed reporters.
The electoral authority has already declared victory for Bolsonaro’s nemesis, leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and even most of the president’s allies have accepted the outcomes. Protesters in cities throughout the nation have steadfastly refused to do the identical, notably with Bolsonaro declining to concede.
Liberal Party chief Valdemar Costa and an auditor employed by the social gathering instructed reporters in Brasilia that their analysis discovered all machines relationship from earlier than 2020 — nearly 280,000 of them, or about 59% of the full used within the Oct. 30 runoff — lacked particular person identification numbers in inside logs.
Neither defined how which may have affected election outcomes, however mentioned they had been asking the electoral authority to invalidate all votes solid on these machines.
The grievance characterised the bug as “irreparable non-compliance due to malfunction” that referred to as into query the authenticity of the outcomes.
Immediately afterward, the pinnacle of the electoral authority issued a ruling that implicitly raised the chance that Bolsonaro’s personal social gathering might undergo from such a problem.
Alexandre de Moraes mentioned the courtroom wouldn’t take into account the grievance until the social gathering presents an amended report inside 24 hours that would come with outcomes from the primary electoral spherical on Oct. 2, wherein the Liberal Party gained extra seats in each congressional homes than another.
The bug hadn’t been identified beforehand, but consultants mentioned it additionally doesn’t have an effect on outcomes. Each voting machine can nonetheless be simply recognized via different means, like its metropolis and voting district, in response to Wilson Ruggiero, a professor of laptop engineering and digital techniques on the Polytechnic School of the University of Sao Paulo.
Diego Aranha, an affiliate professor of techniques safety at Aarhus University in Denmark, who has participated in official safety assessments of Brazil’s electoral system, agreed.
“It does not undermine the reliability or credibility in any way,” Ruggiero instructed The Associated Press by cellphone. “The key point that guarantees correctness is the digital signature associated with each voting machine.”
While the machines don’t have particular person identification numbers of their inside logs, these numbers do seem on printed receipts that present the sum of all votes solid for every candidate, mentioned Aranha, including the bug was solely detected as a result of efforts by the electoral authority to offer better transparency.
Bolsonaro’s lower than two-point loss to da Silva on Oct. 30 was the narrowest margin since Brazil’s 1985 return to democracy. While the president hasn’t explicitly cried foul, he has refused to concede defeat or congratulate his opponent — leaving room for supporters to attract their very own conclusions.
Many have been protesting relentlessly, making claims of election fraud and demanding that the armed forces intervene.
Dozens of Bolsonaro supporters gathered exterior the information convention on Tuesday, decked out within the inexperienced and yellow of Brazil’s flag and chanting patriotic songs. Some verbally attacked and pushed journalists attempting to enter the venue.
Bolsonaro spent greater than a 12 months claiming Brazil’s digital voting system is vulnerable to fraud, with out ever presenting proof.
Brazil started utilizing an digital voting system in 1996 and election safety consultants take into account such techniques much less safe than hand-marked paper ballots, as a result of they go away no auditable paper path. But Brazil’s system has been carefully scrutinized by home and worldwide consultants who’ve by no means discovered proof of it being exploited to commit fraud.
The Senate’s president, Rodrigo Pacheco, mentioned Tuesday afternoon that the election outcomes are “unquestionable.”
Bolsonaro has been almost utterly secluded within the official residence since his Oct. 30 defeat, inviting widespread hypothesis as as to whether he’s dejected or plotting to cling to energy.
In an interview with newspaper O Globo, Vice President Hamilton Mourão chalked up Bolsonaro’s absence to erysipelas, a pores and skin an infection on his legs that he mentioned prevents the president from sporting pants.
But his his son Eduardo Bolsonaro, a federal lawmaker, has been extra direct.
“We always distrusted these machines. … We want a massive audit,” the youthful Bolsonaro mentioned final week at a convention in Mexico City. “There is very strong evidence to order an investigation of Brazil’s election.”
For its audit, the Liberal Party employed the Legal Vote Institute, a bunch that has been crucial of the present system, saying it defies the legislation by failing to offer a digital file of each particular person vote.
In a separate report offered earlier this month, the Brazilian navy mentioned there have been flaws within the nation’s electoral techniques and proposed enhancements, however didn’t substantiate claims of fraud from a few of Bolsonaro’s supporters.
Analysts have prompt that the armed forces, which have been a key element of Bolsonaro’s administration, might have maintained a semblance of uncertainty over the problem to keep away from displeasing the president. In a subsequent assertion, the Defense Ministry harassed that whereas it had not discovered any proof of fraud within the vote counting, it couldn’t exclude that risk.
Biller reported from Rio de Janeiro. Associated Press author Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this report.