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Brazil armed forces’ report on election finds no fraud


RIO DE JANEIRO — The protection ministry launched a report Wednesday highlighting flaws in Brazil’s electoral methods and proposing enhancements, however there was nothing to substantiate claims of fraud from a few of President Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters protesting his Oct. 30 defeat.

It was the primary remark by the army on the runoff election, which has drawn protests nationwide even because the transition has begun for President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s inauguration Jan. 1. Thousands have been gathering outdoors army installations in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia and different cities calling for intervention by the armed forces to maintain Bolsonaro in workplace.

When the protection ministry introduced this week that it might current its report on the election, some Bolsonaro supporters rejoiced, anticipating the upcoming revelation of a smoking gun. That didn’t occur.

“There is nothing astonishing in the document,” Diego Aranha, an affiliate professor of methods safety at Aarhus University in Denmark, who has been a member of the Brazilian electoral authority’s public safety assessments, informed The Associated Press. “The limitations found are the same ones analysts have been complaining about for decades … but that doesn’t point to evidence of irregularity.”

Defense Minister Paulo Nogueira wrote that “it is not possible to say” with certainty the computerzed vote tabulation system hasn’t been infilitrated by malicious code, however the 65-page report doesn’t cite any abnormalities within the vote rely. Based on the doable threat, nevertheless, the report suggests making a fee comprised of members of civil society and auditing entities to additional examine the functioning of the digital voting machines.

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Bolsonaro, whose lower than two-point loss was the narrowest margin since Brazil’s 1985 return to democracy, hasn’t particularly cried foul for the reason that election.

Still, his continued refusal to concede defeat or congratulate his opponent left ample room for supporters to attract their very own conclusions. And that adopted greater than a 12 months of Bolsonaro repeatedly claiming Brazil’s digital voting system is susceptible to fraud, with out ever presenting any proof — even when ordered to take action by the electoral authority.

In the months main as much as the vote, as polls confirmed him trailing da Silva, Bolsonaro pushed for the army to tackle an expanded position within the electoral course of. The election authority, in a gesture apparently geared toward placating the president, allowed for armed forces’ unprecedented participation. The report offered Wednesday was signed by the protection minister and representatives from the military, navy and air drive.

The electoral authority mentioned in an announcement it “received with satisfaction the defense ministry’s final report that, like all other oversight bodies, did not point to the existence of any fraud or inconsistency in the electronic voting machines and 2022 electoral process.”

Bolsonaro didn’t instantly touch upon the report, nor did the presidential palace reply to an AP e-mail. His occasion’s chief mentioned Tuesday the president would query election outcomes provided that the report offered “real” proof.

Da Silva, talking Wednesday within the capital, Brasilia, on his first go to for the reason that election, informed reporters that the vote was clear and Brazil’s digital voting machine system is an achievement.

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“No one will believe coup-mongering discourse from someone who lost the elections,” da Silva mentioned. “We know that the institutions were attacked by some government authorities.”

Brazil started utilizing an digital voting system in 1996. Election safety consultants contemplate such methods much less safe than hand-marked paper ballots, as a result of they go away no auditable paper path. Brazil’s system is, nevertheless, intently scrutinized and home authorities and worldwide observers have by no means discovered proof of it being exploited to commit fraud. Outside safety audits have been finished to stop the system’s software program from being surreptitiously altered. In addition, previous to election day, assessments are carried out to guarantee no tampering has occurred.

The electoral authority mentioned in its assertion Wednesday that it might analyze the protection ministry’s recommendations. Aranha, the system safety professor, mentioned the army’s recommendations to deal with flaws aren’t particular and would truly make an audit much more tough.

This 12 months, the armed forces additionally carried out a partial audit, evaluating tons of of voting stations’ outcomes to the official tally. The concept was first floated by Bolsonaro, who in May mentioned they “will not perform the role of just rubber stamping the electoral process, or taking part as spectators.”

The federal authorities’s accounts watchdog carried out a partial audit just like that of the army, tallying votes in 604 voting machines throughout Brazil. It discovered no discrepancies. Likewise, Brazil’s Bar Association mentioned in a report Tuesday that it had discovered nothing that pointed to suspicion of irregularities.

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“There are important lessons from all this,” mentioned Paulo Calmon, a political science professor on the University of Brasilia, who continued: “primarily, the idea to formally involve the armed forces in electoral processes is an error that should never be repeated.”

Associated Press author Carla Bridi reported from Brasilia. AP videojournalist Juan Arraez and author David Biller in Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.



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