Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court to open source code for voting machines ahead of elections

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Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court (TSE) has approved a new resolution to extend the period of source codes for electronic voting machines and the electronic voting system must be available for consideration by civil society.

With the resolution, the source codes must be available for inspection 12 months before the first round of the elections – the previous deadline was 6 months before the elections. According to the Minister of TSE, Luis Roberto Barroso, the decision to anticipate access to electoral systems is part of the initiatives aimed at improving good practices and the need to strengthen the transparency of the electoral process, “in particular with regard to the process. development and audit of electronic voting. system.”

Last month, TSE announced the creation of a new body aimed at improving the transparency and security of the electoral process. The Commission for the Transparency of Elections (CTE) aims to increase the participation of experts, representatives of civil society and public institutions in the inspection and audit of the electoral process.

The members of the CTE will work with the Court in the analysis of its action plan to increase the transparency of the elections. The group of specialists will also ensure the monitoring and supervision of the development phases of electoral systems and the auditing of the electoral process. They will also be expected to provide advice and guidance on any improvements that may be needed.

In addition to representatives of institutions and public bodies, a number of IT specialists and members of civil society will be part of the CTE. The group of technology experts includes academics André Luís de Medeiros Santos, professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco; Bruno de Carvalho Albertini, professor at the University of São Paulo; Roberto Alves Gallo Filho, PhD from Campinas State University; Ana Carolina da Hora, researcher at the Center for Technology and Society of the Faculty of Law of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, as well as Ana Claudia Santano, general coordinator of the non-profit organization Transparência Eleitoral Brasil, and Fernanda Campagnucci, Executive Director of Open Knowledge Brasil.

Announcing the creation of the new body, Minister Barroso indicated that the TSE will begin its electoral transparency cycle on October 4, one year before the presidential elections of 2022. During the event, all members of the CTE, ministers of the TSE and the presidents of all political parties in Brazil will benefit from a demonstration of the system used in electronic voting machines and will be able to view the source code. Election authorities from entities such as the Organization of American States, Idea International and the Inter-American Union of Electoral Organizations (Uniore), which act as observers in various elections in America, will also be present at the event. .

In addition to the announcement of the CTE, the Electoral Tribunal created the Electoral Transparency Observatory (OTE), which will collaborate with the CTE and the TSE in order to increase the transparency of the vote as well as the public’s knowledge of the system. election in Brazil.

Public and private organizations and institutions with eminent work in the fields of technology, human rights, democracy and political science can be invited to join the Observatory. According to the TSE, invitations have been sent to various politicians and organizations that have already collaborated with the court.


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