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Electronic Voting – Brazil Moves from Paper to Modern Systems

For fourteen years, Brazilians have witnessed the evolution of electronic ballot boxes, from their more simple first version to the current ballot boxes based on the Intel® Atom™ Z510P processor, and the benefits they have provided Brazil.

Scenario: Quick and Secure Vote

With the objective of reducing the number of frauds in the Brazilian elections, ensuring the integrity and veraci...ty of the votes, the Superior Electoral Court (TSE in Portuguese) has analyzed the country’s scenario in order to develop the best formula to automatize the electoral process. In 1995 the first public bid began for selecting the supplier for the electronic ballot boxes for the 1996 elections. Faced with Brazil, which has a land extension of approximately 8.5 million square kilometers, 26 States and the Federal District divided into five regions (North, Northeast, Center-West, Southeast, and South) with 190 million Brazilians of all races, religions, and cultures, the TSE’s challenge was to present a simple and efficient electronic equipment to Brazil that would forever change the way candidates are elected in the country.

The specific characteristics that the electronic ballot box had to have were detailed in the public bid. Items such as a screen with the candidate’s number and photograph, a numeric keyboard that was similar to the one in a telephone, media with redundant recording of information—so there would be no risk of data loss—were essential to ensure the product’s proper functioning.

In total, there were eight public bids in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. The evolution of the electronic ballot box’s technology was inevitable. Every year, the TSE analyzed what worked well and what fell short of their expectations. The result of this process was the quality and consequent reliability that the machines gained with time.

Read the full Brazilian Elections: From Paper to the Technology Advances Solution Brief:

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