Government of Brazil
Brazil has suffered with centuries of political unrest and discrimination, even slavery but it now enjoys the political rule of a democratic government. This democratic government means that those in power are elected by the residents of the country, where every resident votes in formal elections for one of a number of different parties. This gives each individual who is of a voting age an equal opportunity to affect his or her own country.
Two main characteristics of election in Brazil are:-
1) The size of the electoral process and the massive uses of technology.
2) Every two years the country runs the largest electronic voting on the planet.
The computerized voting system was first introduced in 1996, when some 33 million voters used electronic voting machines to choose mayors and councilors on October 5 2008, when 130 million voters elected 345,000 mayors and city councilors.
Technology was incorporated into Brazilian elections for the purpose of ensuring full transparency to the process of receiving and counting and counting votes.
The Electronic Voting Machine
Electronic Voting machine is in practice with two terminals:-
1) The voting officials
2) The voter's terminal
The voting officials:- where voters are identified by the number of their voter identification cards and authorized to vote.
The voter's terminal:- where the vote is recorded.
Communication between the two terminals is restricted to a single operation: the voting official unlocks the terminal by pushing a button after verifying the voter's data.
Both voting system and voter's identification are independent and separated as to ensure the secrecy of the vote.
The machine were designed to allow all Brazilians to vote safely and easily. The equipment also feature three keys of different colors: White, Orange & Green. A white button is designed for the ones who wish to cast a blank vote. An orange button is used for correcting and restarting in case the voter makes a mistake and a green button is used to confirm the vote.
Who Can Run?
Any individual with Brazilian citizenship may run for elective office except those who are "unenlistable" (Brazilians and foreigners recruited for compulsory military service, the so called conscripts), illiterates and individuals who had their political rights suspended by the court.
In the case of President and Vice-President of the republic, there is an additional requirement: only Brazilian born citizens can run. The age limit of an individual to run a different elective posts are as follow:-
The Electoral Court
The Electoral court is a specialized branch of the Brazilian Judiciary independent of the Legislative and the Executive branches, tasked with organizing and supervising elections throughout the country.
Electoral Court is formed by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE),one regional electoral court (TRE, in the Portuguese acronym) in each of the 27 Brazilian states and in the Federal District; electoral judges; and electoral boards.
The TSE- the highest level of the Electoral Court comprised of seven justices and headquartered in Brasilia, the country's capital-is responsible for issuing instructions aimed to enforce the electoral legislation; responding to inquiries submitted by political parties or federal authorities.
In Brazil, people's sovereignty is exercised through universal, direct, secret and periodic elections, with equal value to all. Every legally capable Brazilian citizen can vote.
Party Affiliation in Brazil is free and the law encourages the multiparty system. There are currently 27 political parties in Brazil. All the parties must have a national character are prohibited from receiving funding from foreign government and required to render accounts to the electoral court on an annual basis.
The Brazilian electoral legislation establishes a large set of rules designed to ensure a balanced and clean race among candidates. The Brazilian law also establishes a number of provisions with the objective of ensuring the regular operation of the executive and the legislative branches. The major concern involves maintain the balance of public finances over different administrations.
The Electoral process in Brazil
The voting machines are prepared a week before Election Day, with operating system and software previously tested and audited, besides the list of candidates, information on municipalities, polling locations and data on voters. All machines are physically sealed for protection against violation.
The voting machine issues two bulletins:
1) Before voting showing the existence of zero vote for the running candidate.
2) After closing of the polls- the voting machine bulletin.
This bulletin is available for checking by party inspectors and contains the results of voting in the respective precinct: a number of voters, total number of votes received by each candidate, number of blank and spoiled votes.
In Brazil, Voting is treated as a right and duty of citizens. The mandatory vote, which was established in 1934 and reaffirmed in the constitution charter of1988 currently in force, is a part of the country's electoral culture. Brazilian society believes that choosing its representatives is a collective responsibility that all citizens should cooperate with. Voting is optional for people over 70 years of age.
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