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Biometrics feature part of Brazil’s integrity test for voting machines

Categories Biometrics News  |  Elections  |  ID for All
Biometrics feature part of Brazil’s integrity test for voting machines

Some voting machines to be used for an integrity test ahead of general elections in Brazil will be activated with the biometrics of voters, according to the president of the country’s electoral court, Alexandre de Moraes.

Biometric scanning systems will be installed on 56 of the 641 test machines. Biometric voting machines have been a goal for Brazil since at least 2012.

That is a sixfold increase in the planned number of all integrity checks compared to the previous elections. Checks take place every election cycle and are meant to ensure that voting machines minimize fraud.

The move follows recommendations from Minister of Defense Paulo Sérgio Nogueira, although the military enjoys no constitutional role in advising on electoral matters, writes The Brazilian Report. The defense minister is quoted saying he has been pushing for greater electoral transparency and accountability in Latin America’s biggest democracy.

About 500,000 voting machines are distributed across the country during actual voting. Integrity tests have been a practice in Brazil since 2002. Since 2008, Brazil officials have been working to introduce biometrics at different levels of the electoral process, the Report notes.

Campaigns are underway in Brazil ahead of general elections scheduled for October 2. Votes cast during the test will be counted as legitimate ballots.

Voters will elect a president, vice president and members of the national congress. Incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, who faces stiff competition from former President Lula da Silva, is seeking a second mandate.

The New York Times recently reported claims by Bolsonaro that the voting machines are vulnerable to fraud, saying he will contest the credibility of the polls if he is beaten on Election Day.

Brazil authorities announced in July that new national identity passports and passports would be available September.

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