NEWS IN ENGLISH – Flaw in electronic voting machine program is corrected

20/09/2012 09:30

Newsroom      Agência Brasil

Brasilia – Since 1996 when they were introduced experimentally, voting in Brazil has taken place with automatic, electronic computerized vote registering and counting machines (actually a microcomputer) [technically, the Brazilian equipment is known in English as a Direct Recording Electronic voting machine]. For well over a decade, Brazilians have become accustomed to quick and trustworthy elections with the official results announced just a few hours after the polls close.

However, the software program that registers votes in Brazilian electronic voting machines has recently undergone an update after a flaw was discovered. The Federal Election Board (“Tribunal Superior Eleitoral – TSE”) decided to modify an algorithm in the program after an IT group at the University of Brasilia ran a test under board auspices and found that it was possible to decode the exact moment that a vote was cast. 

The new, updated program will be used in this October’s municipal elections.

As in previous elections, there will be “parallel voting” to ensure that the voting machines are reliable. This consists of selecting a few voting machines randomly around the country and having voters deposit paper votes immediately after using the electronic voting machines. At the end of polling the paper vote record is compared to the voting machine record (“boletim impresso da urna eletrônica”).

According to the TSE, if any irregularities occur during voting, the situation is immediately investigated.

Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English

Link - Sistema de registro de votos em urnas eletrônicas é atualizado depois de descoberta sobre fragilidade