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Brazil election company rejects Bolsonaro push to void votes

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RIO DE JANEIRO — The head of Brazil’s electoral authority has rejected the request from President Jair Bolsonaro’s political social gathering to annul ballots forged on most digital voting machines, which might have overturned the Oct. 30 election.

Alexandre de Moraes had issued a previous ruling that implicitly raised the chance that Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party may undergo from such a problem. He conditioned evaluation of the request on the presentation of an amended report to incorporate outcomes from the primary electoral spherical, on Oct. 2, during which the social gathering gained extra seats in each congressional homes than every other, and he established a 24-hour deadline.

Earlier Wednesday, social gathering president Valdemar Costa and lawyer Marcelo de Bessa held a press convention and mentioned there could be no amended report.

“The complete bad faith of the plaintiff’s bizarre and illicit request … was proven, both by the refusal to add to the initial petition and the total absence of any evidence of irregularities and the existence of a totally fraudulent narrative of the facts,” de Moraes wrote in his choice hours later.

He additionally ordered the suspension of presidency funds for the Liberal Party’s coalition till a fantastic of 23 million reais ($4.3 million) for dangerous religion litigation is paid.

On Tuesday, de Bessa filed a 33-page request on behalf of Bolsonaro and Costa citing a software program bug within the majority of Brazil’s machines — they lack particular person identification numbers of their inner logs — to argue all votes they recorded needs to be nullified. De Bessa mentioned that doing so would go away Bolsonaro with 51% of the remaining legitimate votes.

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Neither Costa nor de Bessa have defined how the bug might need affected election outcomes. Independent specialists consulted by The Associated Press mentioned that, whereas newly found, it doesn’t have an effect on reliability and every voting machine continues to be readily identifiable by way of different means. In his ruling, de Moraes famous the identical.

He additionally wrote that the problem to the vote appeared geared toward incentivizing anti-democratic protest actions and creating tumult, and ordered the investigation of Costa and the advisor employed to conduct an analysis.

“De Moraes’ message to the political establishment is: the game is over. Questioning the result of the elections is not fair play, and people and institutions who do that will be punished harshly,” mentioned Maurício Santoro, a political science professor on the State University of Rio de Janeiro.

In the press convention on Wednesday, Costa mentioned his intention is merely to stop the outcomes of the 2022 vote from haunting Brazil into the long run.

The electoral authority on Oct. 30 ratified the victory of Bolsonaro’s nemesis, leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and even most of the president’s allies shortly accepted the outcomes. Protesters in cities throughout the nation have steadfastly refused to do the identical, notably with Bolsonaro declining to concede.

Bolsonaro spent greater than a yr claiming Brazil’s digital voting system is vulnerable to fraud, with out ever presenting proof.

The South American nation started utilizing an digital voting system in 1996 and election safety specialists think about such programs much less safe than hand-marked paper ballots, as a result of they depart no auditable paper path. But Brazil’s system has been carefully scrutinized by home and worldwide specialists who’ve by no means discovered proof of it being exploited to commit fraud.

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