Defense Minister Paulo Sérgio Nogueira took a team of military personnel this Wednesday (31) to a meeting with the president of the TSE (Superior Electoral Court), Alexandre de Moraes, to insist on the proposal to reformulate the ballot box integrity test. , made on polling days.
The use of biometrics from real voters during the integrity test is the main request from the military in the list of recommendations sent to the TSE. The court even simulated the change, but court technicians and Minister Moraes himself signaled, in internal meetings, that the measure could disrupt the election and should not be accepted.
Nogueira had asked to be accompanied at the meeting by other military personnel who work in monitoring the election. The Defense Minister and Moras had already met last week.
The meeting was attended by Colonel Marcelo Nogueira de Sousa, who coordinates the military team that oversees the election, in addition to the TSE’s information technology secretary, Júlio Valente.
The meeting between technicians from the Armed Forces and the TSE was the main demand presented by Paulo Sérgio Nogueira since May to the court. In Defense, the minister’s assistants believe that only with this meeting it would be possible to detail the proposal to change the integrity test.
Despite the initial request having been made in June, the then president of the TSE, Edson Fachin, did not accept the proposal as he considered the CTE (Electoral Transparency Commission) the appropriate forum for the discussions.
In the collegiate meetings, General Heber Portella, representative of the Armed Forces, remained silent and did not elaborate on the proposal.
In the first conversation with Nogueira, without the presence of other technicians, Moraes confirmed to the military that the TSE returned to study the reformulation of the integrity test, but did not promise to accept the change.
Despite the simulation of the use of biometrics, court technicians privately say that changing the rules weeks before voting can disrupt the electoral process, in addition to being cumbersome and having little power to improve the security and transparency of the vote.
On the other hand, ministers of the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government say they are hopeful that the new president of the TSE will serve the Armed Forces.
The Bolsonaro government sees an eventual concession to the Armed Forces as Moraes’ currency to alleviate the crisis between the TSE and the Planalto. Bolsonaro, in return, would reduce the coupist tone of his statements.
Currently, there is a mock vote on the integrity test on the same day as the actual election. Votes are deposited on paper ballots and then typed into electronic voting machines to compare the results.
The heart of the military’s request is to use the biometrics of real voters on the digital equipment during the test.
In the military’s argument, the integrity test needs to reproduce the voting conditions as closely as possible to reality. Therefore, it would be important that the use of biometrics also occur in the testing, to prevent a possible malicious code from defrauding the process.
Using biometrics in the test, however, would require carrying out this process at polling stations and not at points indicated by regional electoral courts.
In a note released in July, the TSE itself stated that adopting the military’s proposal this year would be “unfeasible”, because it could disrupt the elections and jeopardize the secrecy of the vote.
Despite resisting the Defense proposal, TSE technicians began to think of ways to reduce the impacts this year, in case Moraes decides to give in to the military.
One idea is to apply the Defense proposal to a small number of polls. For example, in about two units per state, which would reach less than 10% of the 648 ballot boxes that must be used in the integrity test across the country.