Petition to audit election results partially approved

The Superior Electoral Court turned down a petition by PSDB, the party

Published on 06/11/2014 - 10:39 By Agência Brasil - Brasília

Ministro Dias Toffoli, presidente do TSE, concede entrevista coletiva para divulgar o andamento parcial das votações no 2 turno das Eleições 2014 ( Roberto Jayme/TSE)

TSE President Dias Toffoli. Roberto Jayme/TSE

The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) denied Tuesday (Nov. 4) a petition by the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), of the presidential candidate defeated in the election run-off, Aécio Neves, to set up a multi-party committee to audit the results of the recent presidential elections. However, the TSE authorized party members to access to the vote casting, counting, and aggregating systems so that it can conduct its own independent audit. All court members' votes were aligned with that of TSE President Dias Toffoli.

In their petition filed last week, the PSDB said they were “absolutely confident” that the TSE has ensured a secure election process, but wanted to reassure voters on social media who raised concerns about the fairness of the vote counting. The party asked the court to set up a committee with representatives from political parties to audit the whole election process from casting to counting.

But Toffoli rejected the petition, arguing that the PSDB failed to provide any evidence of fraud and vaguely reported popular distrust on the election result in its petition. The chief justice maintained that the whole election process took place to the highest integrity standards and that the TSE had been made the details of the specification and development phases of all proprietary IT systems developed for use in the election openly available for all members of political parties, the Electoral Public Prosecutors and the Bar Association of Brazil (OAB) since April.

On Wednesday (Nov. 5), Aécio Neves's campaign coordinator, Deputy Carlos Sampaio (PSDB), said that the party will appoint some three or five experts to access the vote casting, counting and aggregation systems, as authorized by the TSE.

“[The decision] was completely favorable to the Court team themselves, who dispelled any doubts about their procedures. To those in the population who had concerns, they [the court members] said they can rest assured,” Sampaio said. “But the [election] systems are meant to be reliable for users and voters, rather than magistrates and jurists,” he maintained.

According to Sampaio, among the experts considered for the task is Diego Aranha, an IT scholar who led a University of Brasília team that succeeded in hacking voting machines as part of tests commissioned by the TSE.

Sampaio said that all information resulting from the audit will be made available to all other parties interested in the results, within the sensitive information restrictions imposed by TSE. The audit is expected to be completed within a month.

Translated by Mayra Borges

Fonte: Petition to audit election results partially approved

Edition: Augusto Queiroz

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