The majority of electronic voting machines were used in the October 30 election, but the head of Brazil’s electoral body rejected what he called president Jair Bolsonaro’s political party’s “bizarre and criminal” request to have those votes thrown out.
A previous decision by Alexandre de Moraes had impliedly raised the possibility that such a challenge may be detrimental to Mr. Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party.
The electoral chief had given the party till October 2 to submit a revised report on the outcomes of the first round of voting.
There would not be a revised report, according to a press conference conducted earlier on Wednesday by party president Valdemar Costa and attorney Marcelo de Bessa.
After some time had passed, Mr. de Moraes made the following statement in his decision: “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 complete lack of any evidence of irregularities and the existence of a totally fraudulent narrative of the facts.”
The alliance of the Liberal Party was also ordered to stop receiving government funding until a fine of 23 million reais (£3.6 million) for bad faith litigation was paid.
On Tuesday, Mr. de Bessa submitted a 33-page petition on behalf of Mr. Bolsonaro and Mr. Costa, arguing that all the votes they recorded should be nullified due to a software flaw in the majority of Brazil’s voting machines (which lack unique identifying numbers in their internal records).
According to Mr. de Bessa, if this were to happen, Mr. Bolsonaro would then own 51% of the remaining valid ballots.
The impact of the bug on the outcome of the election has not been addressed by Mr. Costa or Mr. de Bessa.
Although recently discovered, the problem does not harm reliability, according to independent specialists contacted by The Associated Press, and each voting machine can still be identified using other methods. Mr. de Moraes noted the same in his decision.
He also demanded a probe into Mr. Costa and the consultant hired to perform the study because he claimed the challenge to the vote appeared to be intended to stir up unrest and encourage anti-democratic protest movements.
De Moraes’ message to the political elite is that the game is done, according to Mauricio Santoro, a political science professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. People and institutions who contest the election results will face severe penalties because doing so is unfair play.
Mr. Costa stated at the press conference on Wednesday that his goal is to simply stop Brazil from being haunted by the outcomes of the 2022 election.
Even many of President Bolsonaro’s allies quickly agreed with the results after the election authority certified the leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as the winner on October 30.
Particularly in light of Mr. Bolsonaro’s refusal to relent, protesters have firmly refused to do the same in cities all around the nation.
Without providing any supporting proof, Mr. Bolsonaro claimed for more than a year that Brazil’s electronic voting system is prone to fraud.