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Electronic Ballots In The Brazilian Presidential Election

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the press-31-to-return-to-the-main-menu dept.

Technology 298

jorlando writes "On Sunday (06-Oct) Brazil will again use electronic ballots for its Presidential Elections. Since a lot of /. readers from time to time talk about the pros and cons of this type of technology, it's a chance to see how it perform well (at least in Brazil...). Representatives from NGOs, ONU and foreign Governments were invited as observers and to see a working electronic votation system in a huge scale, since there are more than 115 million of voters in Brazil ... usually the results of the election are given 4 hours after the closing of the ballots (17:00 Brasilia -3GMT), with a small margin of error, since only 98% of the votes are computed in 4 hours ... some ballots are in places (mostly in far-away rural areas and in the Amazon region) that need to be taken to larger cities to be connected to the vote-download system ... ballots are made by Procomp, the comunication sytem is a VPN-like made by Embratel. The election can be accompanied by the main Brazilian notice sites (http://www.uol.com.br , http://www.estado.com.br, http://www.globo.com and others), mostly only Portuguese, so use the fish!"

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Brazil rules (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395751)

I hear they have a sexy soccer team :drool:

You can say that again! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395801)

goooooooal! [nicklas2k.com]

Command Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395752)

I maknerignaeln with a wogjwo

Taint mayonaise!

David Arquette

does anyone have (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395760)

pictures of naked chicks in hockey jerseys?

Re:does anyone have (0, Offtopic)

Medieval (41719) | about 12 years ago | (#4395764)

If they are wearing hockey jerseys, they aren't naked....

Re:does anyone have (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395765)

pictures of naked chicks in hockey jerseys

Hey dipshit, they aren't naked if they are wearing hockey jerseys.

Re:does anyone have (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395770)

naked other than the jersey of course

Re:does anyone have (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395779)

I didn't know that new jersey had naked chicks!

Re:does anyone have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395839)

Oh man. Do NOT go there. You don't want to see a Jersey girl naked.

wow, great! (5, Funny)

I Want GNU! (556631) | about 12 years ago | (#4395767)

Good thing Brazil has such a good voting system! It's unfortunate about all the corruption that goes on in third world nations that makes things inaccurate, such as in the recent election in this quant little place called Florida.

Re:wow, great! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395793)

Clearly, unlike Florida, Brazil is not Bush-league.

Re:wow, great! (1)

bernardos70 (613587) | about 12 years ago | (#4395825)

Actually Brasil is suing fox [guardian.co.uk] for that certain episode of The Simpsons.

so sue me (2)

sydlexic (563791) | about 12 years ago | (#4395918)

In January, the mayor of Rio threatened to sue a weather forecaster who predicted, wrongly, that there would be storms on New Year's Eve. The weather forecast kept crowds away from one of the biggest festivals of the year.

Do we have a trial-lawyers exchange program with them?

Re:wow, great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395832)

quant Pronunciation Key (kwnt)
n. Slang
An expert in the use of mathematics and related subjects, particularly in investment management and stock trading.

Maybe you should've used quaint.

Re:wow, greater ... (-1, Flamebait)

noshellswill (598066) | about 12 years ago | (#4395848)

What's wrong, pad're, is your sense of justice outraged? Ha! The tratorous bastard you pimp for couldn't buy as many judges as he did coke-heads & illiterate rapists on parole.

Re:wow, great! (5, Funny)

dirvish (574948) | about 12 years ago | (#4395990)

Yeah, it is disgusting how rampant corruption is in some third world countries. In some places a powerful family will control elections making certain that they remain in power for generations. It is even possible for a president to sucede his father and for brothers to retain power at the same time despite gross incompetence.

Re:wow, great! (1)

jpaz (512242) | about 12 years ago | (#4396024)

I grew up in Miami. I can say for certain that Miami is quite unlike the rest of the United States. In some parts of Miami, Spanish is the *only* language. They say that you have to go north to reach the South.

Another thing. I don't know why, but it seems to me that Miami politics is about as corrupt as it gets in the U.S. I remember a Miami Mayoral election some time back that, I believe, had to be redone because it was determined that *both* candidates were corrupt. I think, but have no specific data to back this up, that maybe South Floridians, especially those with Latin American backgrounds, are just simply used to the corruption/dirty politics. Or maybe it's just the preferred way.

So in some ways, Miami can be considered similar to some third world countries.

And of course there's Disney World. You tell me how corrupt Disney politics is.

Test #1 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395776)

A good slashdotting of the voting webservers the day before the election.

Re:Test #1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395837)

How is this offtopic? I hope timothy will lose lotsa karma in metamod.

Re:Test #1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395843)

Timothy is a cocksucking assmuncher.

Spanish-accented, thick-mustachioed conga dancers (1, Funny)

wackybrit (321117) | about 12 years ago | (#4395784)

I'm not so sure that Brazil knows how to hold democratic elections. After all, they're all Spanish-accented, thick-mustachioed conga dancers right? Homer was held ransom for $50,000, Bart was swallowed whole by a boa, and Marge got some 'help' from the police. Certainly not the least corrupt place on the planet.

The Simpsons has certainly put me off from visiting what I previously thought might be a very nice country. If Brazil isn't suing Fox for defamation, they should.

Re:Spanish-accented, thick-mustachioed conga dance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395806)

Hahaha
You believe in Simpsons cartoon? Maybe you should not watch South Park.
Stay in bed. Call a doctor.
Americans know everything about democratic elections, right?

Re:Spanish-accented, thick-mustachioed conga dance (2, Informative)

bernardos70 (613587) | about 12 years ago | (#4395844)

Actually Brasil is suing fox [guardian.co.uk] for that certain episode of The Simpsons.

Re:Spanish-accented, thick-mustachioed conga dance (1)

BrunoC (540199) | about 12 years ago | (#4395860)

First of all, Brazillian people speaks portuguese, not spanish. Sencond, there's no Conga here. Suing Fox is a really dumb idea. I've seen "Blame it on Lisa" and it's *really* funny. I'm not offended as a brazillian citizen nor as a Simpsons fan. Either way, Blame it on CowboyNeal.

Re:Spanish-accented, thick-mustachioed conga dance (1)

Carlos Laviola (127699) | about 12 years ago | (#4395980)

I'm sure he's trolling/trying to be funny, and you've bitten.

Re:Spanish-accented, thick-mustachioed conga dance (1)

klaviman (543484) | about 12 years ago | (#4395919)

this quote from that article [guardian.co.uk] puts this whole thing in perspective:
In January, the mayor of Rio threatened to sue a weather forecaster who predicted, wrongly, that there would be storms on New Year's Eve. The weather forecast kept crowds away from one of the biggest festivals of the year.

Re:Spanish-accented, thick-mustachioed conga dance (1)

BrunoC (540199) | about 12 years ago | (#4395937)

I live in Rio, and I can tell you all this: The mayor is a complete idiot that should be doing a better job insted of buggin Fox with those ridiculous allegations. And yes, the forecaster's getting sued article is completely true, and that's just another example of the mayor's insanity.

Re:Spanish-accented, thick-mustachioed conga dance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395959)

Bruno, vai tomar no cu seu merda. Sou teu vizinho e vou te dar um tiro quando você for votar hoje. Filho da puta.

Re:Spanish-accented, thick-mustachioed conga dance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395994)

Cobarde anonymous, você é uma parte de merda e morrerá do cancer do fígado aonde sempre você vai. Isto foi feito por um translater em linha, você podia dizer poderia você não?

Re:Spanish-accented, thick-mustachioed conga dance (1)

BrunoC (540199) | about 12 years ago | (#4396028)

Demorô! Tenta a sorte

Gotta write quick! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395785)

Gonna cum!

All of the /. editors were at the geek compound. They were going to have some fun tonight. Unnggh...Taco whipped out his hard cock and and CowboyNeal oh saw it and puledd down hispants showing his enormous pasty white flabby ass cheeeeekss....OHHH!! AHHHHNNNNGGHHHHH!! UH! UH! UH! UHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!GAARRGHGHHGHGG!! Splurk. Ahhh......

Use A Pencil! (3, Insightful)

Slapdash X. Hashbang (315401) | about 12 years ago | (#4395792)

...and a paper ballot! The presence or absence of an 'X' or a check, in a human script, is fairly incontrovertible. If counting takes 3, 4 days or a week, it's well worth it.

We all have seen that "chads" are fussy things, prone to hanging. And we're hip to the fact that bits are very evanescent things.

Reaching for democracy is a worthwhile pursuit, worth some pencils, some paper, and a little time.

Re:Use A Pencil! (2, Insightful)

janda (572221) | about 12 years ago | (#4395887)

(As I was explaining to my family last christmas), with modern technology, it should take, oh, maybe an hour for the election to be finalized after is complete.

You're correct, you get a paper voting ballot, and a pencil. You go in, make your marks, and then put the ballot into an optical scanner in front of the election volunteers. The scanner decides what it thinks you penciled in, and displays it on a monitor that you, but not other people, can see. You then press a button, "yes", or "no" to indicate that the scanner recorded things properly. If you press "no", the scanner spits your ballot back out to you and you get another one until you figure out how to fill in circles properly.

At various times during the day (say, every two hours), the storage devices in the machines are replaced so that the counts can be verified and uploaded during the day. Once everybody's done, you have an electronic count with all the paper needed to back it up if you need to do hand counts.

Of course, that wouldn't make some company selling a propriatary system that you must sign a non-disclosure agreemnt to buy, any money,

Re:Use A Pencil! (1)

Migrant Programmer (19727) | about 12 years ago | (#4395972)

If you can mark an "X", you're my kind of people!

Re:Use A Pencil! (1)

octalman (169480) | about 12 years ago | (#4396038)

Dream on! Obviously, you have never worked as an election official.

If there is any way to bollux it up, someone is going to do it, whether it is failing to punch the chad out completely, or marking two (or more) choices on either a punch-out or a mark-on paper ballot. Other problems are erasures and failure to mark distinctly. Sigh.

Fortunately, the number of problems is usually only a tiny fraction of the total vote and election officers can usually figure out what the voter intended, so the vote isn't completely lost.

let's hope (0, Offtopic)

Raven42rac (448205) | about 12 years ago | (#4395803)

they don't end up voting for pat buchanan

Re:let's hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395818)

Who?

Re:let's hope (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395855)

"CHEGOU A HORA DE TER UM BRASIL DECENTE, VAMOS VOTAR LULA PRESIDENTE! "

As the results of the recents polls show, let's hope we'll have a (moderate) leftist president in Brasil, after decades of military/fascist/neoliberal goverments. That can only be good, for Brasilians as good as for the rest of South America (I'm from Argentina).
Sure Bush, Rumsfeld and other fascists in the north are not very pleased with this... sorry for you guys.

Re:let's see ... (-1, Troll)

noshellswill (598066) | about 12 years ago | (#4395857)

You mean like all those old Jews did in Florida? Think they made a mistake, or maybe ... just smarter & tougher than you, eh pad're?

Offtopic, but IMPORTANT (-1, Offtopic)

Patrick McRotch (314811) | about 12 years ago | (#4395807)


I just read this. Unbelievable . . .


The Sun Will Explode In Less Than Six Years!
Wednesday September 18, 2002

By GEORGE SANFORD

The Sun is overheating and will soon blow up . . . taking Earth and the rest of the solar system with it, scientists warn.

The alert was issued after an international satellite photographed a massive explosion on the surface of the Sun that sent a plume of fire 30 times longer than the diameter of Earth blasting into space.

"It's a sign that the Sun is ready to blow . . . I don't know if I can put it any more plainly than that," says Dutch astrophysicist Dr. Piers Van der Meer, a top expert affiliated with the European Space Agency.

"It will be like a nuclear bomb trillions of times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima going off at the center of our solar system.

"When that happens Earth will be instantly incinerated along with all life on it. It's like when a marshmallow falls into a fire, blackens and melts."

Scientists say the problem is the Sun is literally getting too hot.

The core temperature of the Sun is normally 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. But in recent years it's climbed to an alarming 49 million degrees, says Dr. Van der Meer, leader of a team of Amsterdam-based space scientists who've been tracking the changes in the Sun.

"It's quite similar to when a star goes supernova at the end of its life," Dr. Van der Meer explains. "Over the past 11 years, we've seen our Sun go through changes frighteningly like those that took place in Kepler's Star right before it was observed going supernova in 1604."

Temperatures on the surface of the Sun have been steadily climbing over the past decade, the scientists say.

"This, we believe, not man-made pollution, is responsible for global warming and the alarming effects that we've seen take place on Earth such as the melt-down of the Antarctic ice shelves," asserted Dr. Van der Meer.

The July 1 images were taken by the space-based Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a satellite designed to study the internal structure of the Sun and operated jointly by NASA and the European Space Agency.

"The explosion . . . known technically as an eruptive prominence . . . was colossal," said Dr. Van der Meer. "This is the final warning sign we've all been dreading."

The Dutch scientists calculate that if temperatures keep climbing at the current rate the Sun will be unable to sustain itself.

"It will blow apart like an out-of-control nuclear reactor within six years," predicts Dr. Van der Meer.

NASA refuses to confirm the Euro-pean scientists' assertions and a White House source said, "We don't need anyone spreading more panic now."

http://tv.yahoo.com/news/wwn/20020918/1032361200 09 .html


I, for one, will take this horrendous news as an opportunity to reevaluate my priorities and stop wasting so much of my precious remaining time reading /.

Re:Offtopic, but IMPORTANT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395816)

<action:moderation value='-1' reason='stupid' />

Re:Offtopic, but IMPORTANT (2, Funny)

Snork Asaurus (595692) | about 12 years ago | (#4395827)

The core temperature of the Sun is normally 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. But in recent years it's climbed to an alarming 49 million degrees.

I have that problem,too, but taking a couple of Tums usually does the trick.

Re:Offtopic, but IMPORTANT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395894)

Sounds like a unit mixup to me: 27 millions degrees C == 49 millions degrees F.

If scientists could get their units straight, then the Mars probes wouldn't crash and the Sun wouldn't explode!

**IDIOT MODERATORS ALERT** (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395829)

Look, I prominently warned that my comment was offtopic. Therefore, you have no call to moderate it as such. Moreover, did you actually READ THE ARTICLE (from Yahoo, no less)??? I think this type of news supercedes such social niceties as "ontopicness". THE SUN IS GOING TO EXPLODE in six years. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

Re:**IDIOT MODERATORS ALERT** (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395840)

Hey! You didn't post that! I did!

Re:**IDIOT MODERATORS ALERT** (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395856)

THE SUN IS GOING TO EXPLODE in six years
No it's not! It's going to explode ... NOW!

Re:**IDIOT MODERATORS ALERT** (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395873)

I mean ... NOW!

Re:**IDIOT MODERATORS ALERT** (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395879)

OK, OK. I really meant ... NOW!

Re:**IDIOT MODERATORS ALERT** (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395886)

There must be an error in my calculations somewhere. I'll fire up Excel and get back to you on this.

Re:Offtopic, but IMPORTANT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395893)

"...and stop wasting so much of my precious remaining time reading /."

But posting to /. is ok?

I'm going to be devoting my remaining time to masturbating and watching reruns of CHiPs.

Hangers (1)

DBordello (596751) | about 12 years ago | (#4395817)

Lets hope we don't have to decided what is a 0 and 1 is a one in the binary sequence. Those are sometimes easily confused.

Where's the fun of it (1)

mazg (449753) | about 12 years ago | (#4395824)

The only thing I don't like about electronic voting is that I like the exitement of election night. Waiting for the results is the best part.

Translation question (3, Funny)

Raven42rac (448205) | about 12 years ago | (#4395841)

how do you say "pregnant chads" in Portuguese?

Re:Translation question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395907)

Pregnant chads can ble translated to "urna fraudada", "urna mexida". Theres no special slang in Brazil for fraudulent electional process.
I _am_ Brazilian, and I vehemently _refuse_ to vote. In Brazil you can lose your civil rights if you dont vote, pay an expensive bill and be blocked from getting a job, marry, almost everything. In Brazil voting _is_not_ a right, its an obligation. And as the well-know Brazilians political righteousness and seriousness go on, I simply cant believe those elections. Put simply, in popular research the most voted should be Lula (Luis Inacio Lula da Silva) with 43% of the valid votes, against 14% of votes to Jose Serra, the 2nd place and Governments man. In popular research it only the two (2nd round ellection, it exists in Brazil), Lula would get 63% x Serras 32%. You can bet the fact that in the final counting Serra will win, nonwithstanding Lulas popular approval. Why? Because the process _is_not_ secure, those ballouts _are_not_ audited (cause you cant evaluate 3 different models with different operating systems with different softwares at all in only 5 days, and paying U$100,000.00 just to see the code of VirtuaOS, and not being able to audit Windows CE). All the pseudo-democratic Brazilian election is a _fraud_. Its an immense circus people pay to enter and act as clowns. I preffer to pay the bill and not cooperate to this immense disrespect to the Brazilian people.

Re:Translation question (1)

pzilla (530382) | about 12 years ago | (#4395939)

> how do you say "pregnant chads" in Portuguese?

That would be: "repleto de confete". Confete is your word "confetti". Meaning lots of those bits of paper. I don't know a better word in Portuguese to describe it, sorry. :)

But this electronic baloot system doesn't produce lots of chads, because this one is completely electronic. The vote is registered inside the device.

Re:Translation question (1)

asr_br (143523) | about 12 years ago | (#4395987)

But this electronic baloot system doesn't produce lots of chads, because this one is completely electronic. The vote is registered inside the device.

AFAIK, it prints all votes to a paper inside it as a form of backup (as you can see in the SPECS [procomp.com.br] , it has a thermal printer inside it).

--
Yes, I'm brazilian

Re:Translation question (1)

pzilla (530382) | about 12 years ago | (#4396006)

> AFAIK, it prints all votes to a paper inside it as a form of backup

Yes, I see you are right. Votes are counted in paper ballots after all. But, still, no "hanging chads" problem. :)

Re:Translation question (1)

Derg (557233) | about 12 years ago | (#4395943)

chads grávidos [altavista.com]

Re:Translation question (2)

Banjonardo (98327) | about 12 years ago | (#4396023)

pregnant is gravida. Obviously, it is a feminine noun. I'm hoping Chads are, too, cause we don't have pregnant in masculine. (Obvious reasons?)

Americans can stop preaching about democracy now (3)

spun (1352) | about 12 years ago | (#4395864)

And start fixing ours. Seriously, our elections are as crooked as a three dollar bill. Now even third world countries are using electronic voting, while we, a technologically advanced nation, have to contend with 'hanging chads.'

Re:Americans can stop preaching about democracy no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395905)

Not only that, one party is in control of making our (closed source to everyone) voting machines.

Source [talion.com]

Re:Americans can stop preaching about democracy no (2)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | about 12 years ago | (#4395920)

our elections are as crooked as a three dollar bill.

I've often wondered if this phrase will change later this century. We gained a Two Dollar Bill [countdown-creations.com] in 1976. I wonder if we'll get a Three Dollar Bill in 2076.

I then have to wonder what happens in 2276. I guess re-create the Five Doallar Bill and repeat the phrase with a Six Dollar? Perhaps, but what happens in 2176? "As crooked as a 5 dollar bill"? D'OH!

(assuming we're around that long, of course. Look at Rome...)

I guess I'm not taking inflation into account either...

Interesting thing...... (4, Informative)

Dynedain (141758) | about 12 years ago | (#4395865)

Brazilians are required to vote.

Probably results on a lot less confusion from infrequent voters, and a lot easier to setup and verify people on an electronic system.

Re:Interesting thing...... (2, Interesting)

BrunoC (540199) | about 12 years ago | (#4395902)

That's not quite like that Dynedain. Voting should not be mandatory. How can a democracy be a *real* democracy if people are required to vote? But that's not even my point. The point is that Brasil is a third world country, a poor country and a country where most people does not have good education. This is a very dangerous thing, since poor people "trade" votes for, say, a pair of shoes. Sure, electronic ballots are good prevent frauds, it speeds the counting process and such, but it is *not* that kind of a miracle. What good is to have electronic ballots if the people is almost un-educated? I'm brasilian, I'm voting tomorrow and I really hope that things change. (I think my english writing illustrates how badly educated we are :)

Re:Interesting thing...... (2)

quinto2000 (211211) | about 12 years ago | (#4395922)

Australia also has mandatory voting.

Re:Interesting thing...... (3, Interesting)

oliphaunt (124016) | about 12 years ago | (#4395949)

What kind of penalties are there for non-compliance?

Re:Interesting thing...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395991)

The answer to your question is you may get fined for not voting.

From the Australian Electoral Commission website (www.aec.gov.au), here are the pros and cons on compulsory voting:

Arguments used in favour of compulsory voting:

* voting is a civic duty comparable to other duties citizens perform eg taxation, compulsory education, jury duty
* teachers the benefits of political participation
* parliament reflects more accurately the "will of the electorate"
* governments must consider the total electorate in policy formulation and management
* candidates can concentrate their campaigning energies on issues rather than encouraging voters to attend the poll
* the voter isn't actually compelled to vote for anyone because voting is by secret ballot.

Arguments used against compulsory voting:

* it is undemocratic to force people to vote - an infringement of liberty
* the "ignorant" and those with little interest in politics are forced to the polls
* it may increase the number of "donkey votes"
* it may increase the number of informal votes
* it increases the number of safe, single-member electorates - political parties then concentrate on the more marginal electorates
* resources must be allocated to determine whether those who failed to vote have "valid and sufficient" reasons.

Re:Interesting thing...... (1)

asr_br (143523) | about 12 years ago | (#4396010)

What kind of penalties are there for non-compliance?

You can loose some civil rights (you can't apply to governamental positions, marry, register a company, etc)

If you're not able to vote (like not being in your city), you can justify your absence by just filling a form (that's my case) :-(

Anyway, I like the way it is, because I believe it works quite well (for us at least).

--

Re:Interesting thing...... (2)

Dynedain (141758) | about 12 years ago | (#4395957)

I didn't say it was a miracle; electronic voting is prone to as many problems as paper voting.

There is a benefit to mandatory voting: one group can't get particularly inflamed over an issue and take control simply because everyone else doesn't really care as much.

As a question about the mandatory voting....do you have to pick a candidate for a particular position? Or can you abstain?

I agree that there are particular problems regarding voting fraud poor countries. But those issues aren't solved by paper vs. eletronic votes.

Needless to say, if voting was required in the U.S., many of the stupid decisions that have been made probably wouldn't have. We frequently have major issues that most people think are stupid an pointless....and so instead of voting against it, they just don't vote, and the special interests get their way.

Anyways, on the education issue, for the kinds of economic, climatic, infrastrucural issues that Brazil has to contend with, I think they are doing a suprisngly good job. As for your English writing skills, they are much more proficient than mine are in any other language, and I'm generally considered a very-well educated American.

Re:Interesting thing...... (1)

asr_br (143523) | about 12 years ago | (#4395969)

As a question about the mandatory voting....do you have to pick a candidate for a particular position? Or can you abstain?

There's a key "vote in blank" in the electronic ballot. You can use it for all positions.

--
Yes, I'm from Brazil.

Re:Interesting thing...... (3, Interesting)

Banjonardo (98327) | about 12 years ago | (#4396027)

You can say "undeclared."

And the voting is like in France: if someone doesn't win with a certain majority, the two best go to a second round.

Re:Interesting thing...... (1)

BrunoC (540199) | about 12 years ago | (#4396048)

Well, you've got a really good point there Dynedain. But since education is a huge issue in Brasil, mandatory voting is not so good just because the candidates use this obligation to offer poor people "favors" for votes. If Brasilian people were receiving good education the mandatory voting would be a good thing. My point is that mandatory voting is not bad per se, but the circumstances are the devil in this particular issue.

Re:Interesting thing...... (4, Insightful)

mc6809e (214243) | about 12 years ago | (#4396031)

Voting should not be mandatory. How can a democracy be a *real* democracy if people are required to vote?

Democracy and Freedom are not the same thing. Democracy is one group ruling everyone. Democracies can make rules that abridge free speech, take property without compensating the owner, declare a national religion, make it criminal to put unapproved substances into your body, and MAKE you vote.

Freedom means freedom from other people -- even if they are in the majority. The Bill of Rights is anti-democratic in a sense, for example. There are certain things that shouldn't be put to a simple majority vote.

Another way to look at it is in terms of collectivism versus individualism -- society versus the individual. More than just being different things, democracy and freedom are sometimes opposites. Thats hard to see when you're on the majority side making the rules for everyone. Its easy to see when you're in the minority being made to submit.

Re:Interesting thing...... (2)

Banjonardo (98327) | about 12 years ago | (#4396040)

Not all of us. The (growing) middle class is remarkably up to par in world affairs. (Against Americans, at least.) But the vast majority of us is poor, dirty, and uneducated.

Re:Interesting thing...... (2)

swankypimp (542486) | about 12 years ago | (#4396004)

I consider it a civic duty to educate myself on the issues and canidates every other November. "Voting" isn't just the physical act of pulling a lever or dimpling a chad, but a process of making an informed choice as to your advocates in the government. I would like to think that everyone else thinks this way, but many have other priorities, whether a family life or a fulfilling career or another pull on the bong. Personally, I would rather have thirty-five percent of the population who are informed or passionate about certain issues decide an election rather than people who vote for a canidate they know little about but has the most name recognition or the best advertising. I would guess that half of the voters in U.S. presidential elections fall into the latter category, and in a mandatory, "go to the polling place today or have your behind hauled off to jail" I would think that number would at least triple.

not without failure (5, Informative)

selderrr (523988) | about 12 years ago | (#4395868)

in belgium, we've been using electronic voting for quite a while now. Results are a lot faster, but queues at the booths are longer too because older people are a bit frightened and take their time to figure out what to do (even though it's as straigthforward as pussy : find the hole of a person that you like and fill it :-)

the system itself is not without failure though : one one district, the right-wing, fascists-in-disguise-party was not on the screen of the voting computers (I can't imagine that this could possibly be a programming mistake, since all other districts worked without flaw and used the exact same software)

last note : even here, only something like 30% or so of the votes are electronic. Next federal election, due in 1 year, is supposed to lift this percentage

Re:not without failure (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396008)

That's because leftists can't win without cheating in some way. Right-thinking people would never willingly vote for communist state-loving freaks.

Even the Nazis used legal tactics to gain power. Leftists just rig elections and topple governments that don't give in to their socialist whims.

Lap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396033)

Lap, we komen der weeral goed uit :)

Not that I'd mind pussy in the election queue >:)

who did you vote for last time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395869)

who did you vote for last time?

Auditing? (2)

maelstrom (638) | about 12 years ago | (#4395872)

Electronic voting would be nifty, but how do you audit the components and the source code? I imagine something like the slots in vegas. Wouldn't want to have some crafty developer inserting a special backdoor would you?

Re:Auditing? (1)

BrunoC (540199) | about 12 years ago | (#4395924)

maelstrom, that's a really good question. I wonder that myself, and I am voting with those machines tomorrow. The system is closed, but the TI people of the several parties have access to the code for auditing purposes. Not that it solves the issue, but since there is a lot of "ideological conflicts" between the parties, i guess the auditing process' balance is positive. Or not :)

I am not a number, I am a free candidate! (1)

Juiblex (561985) | about 12 years ago | (#4395889)

The people will have to learn the number of their candidates, to type in the electronic ballot. It will be 6 numbers, one for each type of candidate, and the best to vote are these:

Federal Deputy:
5656
Dr. Enéas

State Deputy:
56500
Ms. Havanir

Senator 1:
43
Green Party

Senator 2:
16
Against Burgeoise

Governor:
30
SP in God's Hands

President:
16
Joseph Maria - Against Burgeoise, Vote Sixteen

There is also the candidate Mr. Creysson, whose number is 00. He is a Protugeuse Tcheacher.

won't be happy (4, Interesting)

daniel2000 (247766) | about 12 years ago | (#4395901)

till the electronic voting has at least the same safegards as manual voting.

With manual voting people oversee people. Not perfect but at least if there is wide spread corruption the knowledge of that corruption at least leaks out somewhere.

With the electronic voting, it is in its infancy and there is easily the ability to implement a corrupt system with far less chance of being caught.

Its not that computers are less accurate or less reliable that people- quite the opposite- its just that having fewer people involved means less scrutiny and a greater chance of being able to be undetectably corrupt.

Even if you can check the source code used (which should be essential otherwise you know nothing at all about the systems integrity) you can't be guarenteed that that same source is the stuff used on the day.

Basically i wont be surprised when we find out that a government somewhere was in power for a decade or more winning every election only to find that the elections were a scam.

Ok there are plenty of scam elections now but we can see for ourselves that they are rigged.

Re:won't be happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395948)

Is it too hard to imagine? This brazilian system uses strong cryptography to ensure the data recorded in each ballot (in 3 media types plus printed paper, all with redudancy) has been produced by a 'certified' ballot. The whole system is audited by 5 independent sources with public reviews, besides some international guests called to evaluate the correctness of the process. It's remarkable that it's actually quite simple and robust, and has made the whole process a lot cheaper than manual processing. Also, it has proven to have a good acceptance even for technologically clueless people.

How to solve the problem (2)

MtViewGuy (197597) | about 12 years ago | (#4395950)

The issue of voting scams can be minimized with the following steps:

1. Before anyone votes in a voting booth, they have have proof of identity, preferably a picture ID.

2. Require that during election time the voter can ONLY vote in one voting jurisdiction, no exceptions allowed. That way, people who live part of the time in one part of the country and part of the time in another part of the country cannot vote in both jurisdictions, which is a great way to cause voter fraud.

3. Use a ballot that all the choices are marked off by a small ink stamp. With an ink stamped ballot, the ballot can be read by both hand and machine counts easily.

I'm sure there are more steps available to lower vote fraud, but these three steps ends the vast majority of voter fraud problems.

Re:How to solve the problem (1)

janda (572221) | about 12 years ago | (#4395976)

In regards to (2) above, I believe it's already the law in America <cough>home of the free </cough> that you can only vote where your identification says you live.

Some stats from the BBC (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395935)


The BBC [bbc.co.uk] has an artice [bbc.co.uk] and a photo [bbc.co.uk]

Some quick stats from the article:

115.2m voters
Voting compulsory for over-18s
406,000 computer ballot boxes
Polls open 1100 GMT, close 2000 GM

*Mandatory* voting??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396026)

Thank Christ we don't have that in the US.

/me shudders at the thought of the average 18 year-old American moron who's only standing there in the voting booth because the law requires it. They'll get confused and think they're voting for TRL, next thing you know Justin Timberlake is the President.

The monkeys want Lula (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395944)

Brazil is fucked.

With 600 million voting people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395946)

the only way to go is Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) [bel-india.com] . India has been using them since mid-90s. Much easier than counting 600 million ballots. Much quicker too.

Looking at doing this on campus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4395989)

What're your thoughts? the student turnout is dismal, so we're looking at options.

Correction (1)

Carlos Laviola (127699) | about 12 years ago | (#4396001)

Not just "Presidential Elections". In a few hours, we'll be voting for President, Senators, Governor, Federal Rep and State Rep.

So typical Brazil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4396007)

I visited Brazil for two months ten years ago. I was struck by the high level of education and enormous competence floating around. I really didn't then understand what held them back. If this ballot system has what it takes, it may perhaps change the political scene to the better.

The president ruling when I was there was "Color"(sp?); an asshole in my humble view.

This time it may be for the US to get rid of Chimp Bush and his relatives in the Florida zoo; "No, don't you touch that ballot yet! Ok, you'll get a banana". Vote for electronics in the US too!

Re:So typical Brazil (1)

pzilla (530382) | about 12 years ago | (#4396030)

The president ruling when I was there was "Color"(sp?); an asshole in my humble view.

His name is "Fernando Collor de Mello", elected in 1989. He was a complete crook and got impeached for corruption. That was back in 1992.

Clarification (2)

Banjonardo (98327) | about 12 years ago | (#4396011)

ONU= Organizacao das Nacoes Unidas, or the UN if you speak English.

Nice to see an article about this, as I often say it in voting discussions. (I'm Brazilian)

For what it's worth India uses this too (-1)

slashuzer (580287) | about 12 years ago | (#4396012)

Or so I have heard. Infact, they are using electronic voting machines to conduct elections in Jamu and Kashmeer where there is a lot of Islamic terrorism. I read this on a news site sorry can't link. But do a google and you'll see.

Clarification mark II (2)

Banjonardo (98327) | about 12 years ago | (#4396017)

All adults (18 and over) in Brazil are REQUIRED to vote tommorow. My parents, as we live in the US, have to go to the consulate to vote.

I believe people over 16 can also vote with parental permission.

How it works (clarification mark III) (3, Informative)

Banjonardo (98327) | about 12 years ago | (#4396032)

sorry about the many posts. It works as following:

1. You enter a number (The numbers are under every poster of every candidate. Vote 22!)

2. The person's picture comes up.

3. You press OK or CANCEL.

It's pretty easy cause a lot of people can't read.

But... (1)

modulus (67148) | about 12 years ago | (#4396039)

Isn't Brazil effectively controlled by drug/etc. lords? Even if they don't have control over the voting, I'm not sure it matters a whole lot who the people elect.

Not that it's much better elsewhere...
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