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Report concludes 'no discrepancies' found in Brazilian election

The Brazilian Defence Ministry's report concluded that no discrepancies were found in the recent election, which saw right-wing president Bolsonaro unseated by a narrow margin. 

It is Brazil's method of casting votes that has drawn scrutiny and criticism. Brazil is the only country in the world that has fully transitioned to a paperless, electronic voting system. 

Some have criticised the involvement of the military in the election investigation. Paulo Calmon, a political science professor at the University of Brasilia, claims, "the idea to formally involve the armed forces in electoral processes is an error that should never be repeated."

The report in question was praised by independent security experts, who found its contents technically sound. However, the report may have armed Bolsonaro's supporters with enough fuel to continue their campaign to undermine the election outcome. 

As elaborated in the report, all computational technology has a well-established element of vulnerability. While the electronic voting system is efficient and reliable, the system is not one hundred per cent secure, as with any digital system. This is the point that Bolsonaro's supporters are hoping to leverage. 

Marcos Simplício, a cybersecurity researcher at the University of São Paulo, who has been involved in the testing of Brazil's voting machines, had the following to say; "That's the problem with technical reports: They just speak facts, and people take those and do whatever they want with it,". He continues, "They can just say, 'See, there are points of improvement. So it's not secure. We cannot use it.'" 

As part of his work, Mr Simplício and his team have tested the security of the voting system by attempting to hack the machines. They failed. The devices are not connected to the internet, making them almost impossible to tamper with remotely. The machines are also encrypted, and encryption keys are used to add a further layer of protection.  

Bolsonaro has avoided the public gaze since his election loss. He made a brief appearance two days after the election to call on his supporters to unblock roads and highways across the country as they protested the election outcome. Bolsonaro has not himself raised accusations of election fraud but has thus far refused to admit defeat.

Read more at The Guardian 

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