The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) released this Monday (13) the new model of electronic voting machines that will be used in the 2022 elections. The minister and president of the court, Luís Roberto Barroso, visited the Positivo factory in Manaus responsible for manufacturing of the new device’s motherboard, and said at a press conference that the most outspoken critics had lowered the tone.
Positivo will have 225,000 new ballot boxes for the 2022 elections
For next year’s elections, the TSE says that Positivo should manufacture 225,000 new electronic voting machines, based on a model designed in 2020. The manufacturer won the TSE’s bid to produce the new equipment, and the forecast is for that the new devices are ready by June 2022.
The new urn’s motherboards are manufactured at the company’s facility in Manaus (AM), but the rest of the equipment will be produced at Positivo’s factory in Ilhéus (BA), inaugurated in 2020. Positivo claims that this factory is capable of producing 130 thousand devices per month. Barroso should travel from Manaus to Ilhéus to visit the Bahia factory.
In total, 557,000 electronic voting machines will be used in next year’s election. The oldest ballot boxes that will be available to the TSE for the 2022 elections have been in operation since 2009. It was in that year that the device’s hardware, which only allows the execution of programs developed by the Electoral Court, was introduced.
According to the TSE, the new electronic voting machine is safer, more modern and has more “accessibility features”. In addition to having a larger battery, the device will also inform the polling station about the next voter in the polling line at the same time another is using the ballot box to vote. The objective of the Electoral Court is to streamline the process.
Also according to the TSE, the main changes involve the urn’s battery, which was changed to a lithium iron-phosphate source. With the change, the driver does not need to recharge, increasing his usage time. Previously, it was changed every five years.
Another new feature of the model that will be used in the 2022 elections is the USB-type input for inserting USB sticks, which should speed up the collection of information by the TSE. A processor 18 times faster than the previous model was also implemented. The Electoral Justice brought improvements to the keyboard and put a touch screen for board members.
“There is no way to get to the electronic ballot box”, says Barroso
In a press conference held in Manaus, Barroso highlighted that the source code of electronic voting machines — the target of attacks by President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) — has already passed the inspection of “hackers”, experts and political parties. The polls do not connect to any network outside the TSE.
There is no way to get to the voting machine. Even if the TSE system is hacked on election day — which never happened and God willing it won’t — the election result would still not be compromised, because at the end of the day, the ballot box prints the ballot paper with the result of the election.
From the printing of the ballot paper, the vote data for more than 400,000 polling stations are sent to the TSE, which adds them up using a supercomputer. There are 140 million voters in Brazil, distributed among 5,600 municipalities.
The electronic voting machine that will be used in 2022 has already been put to the test by experts from the TPS (Public Safety Test). According to the TSE, no major flaws were found, but there were five findings — as the court calls lighter security breaches. In one of them, PF technicians invaded the TSE’s network. Barroso confirmed that they could not change the election result even with the invasion.
The president of the TSE said that the most outspoken critics of the voting machine have backed off, but that it is not possible to convince everyone. “We have no control over people’s imagination. There are people who think that man has not reached the moon”, added Barroso.
He never mentioned the name of Jair Bolsonaro. The president has already been one of the spokesmen for attacks on the Brazilian electoral system, even claiming that there was fraud in the 2018 elections, in which he defeated rival Fernando Haddad (PT) in the second round. However, last month, the president lowered his tone, saying that the 2022 election would be more credible because of the Armed Forces’ participation in auditing the voting process.
With information: O Globo