Electoral Transparency Commission (ETC)

During the Plenary Session held on this past August 12th, Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, President of the Superior Electoral Court, announced measures to increase the transparency of the electronic voting system. The measures announced at the time were as follows:

Early access to the source code of electoral systems. Starting a year before the elections, the TSE will give access to the source code of the electoral systems to all political parties and technicians appointed by them, as well as to other supervisory entities, to monitor the work for the specification and development of electoral systems, for inspection and auditing purposes, in a specific environment and under the supervision of the TSE. In previous years, this opening took place 6 (six) months before the first round of elections, pursuant to § 1 of art. 66 of Law No. 9,504/1997 and art. 8 of Resolution-TSE No. 23,603/2019. Although the wording of the legal provision authorizes this deadline extension without any legislative change being necessary, the publication of an amending resolution is under consideration to clarify the new starting date for opening the source code.

Increased sampling of ballot boxes subject to the Integrity Test. The TSE increased the sample size of electronic voting machines subject to the so-called "Integrity Test", which takes place on voting day in a public place, with filming and inspection by a specialized and independent auditing entity or company. The audit can be monitored by political parties, supervisory entities, and any individual citizen. This procedure is currently regulated by Resolution-TSE No. 23,603/2019, in its Chapters IV and V, which provides that about 100 (one hundred) electronic voting machines are selected on the day before the election to be subject to the verification procedure. Although it has already been defined that there will be an increase in sampling, the final quantity of ballot boxes to be submitted to the Integrity Test is currently being studied by the technical teams of the TSE, in consultation with the TREs. The increase is intended to be 100% (one hundred) percent.

Establishment of the Election Transparency Commission (ETC). In September 2021, the TSE created the Election Transparency Commission (ETC) with the objective of increasing the transparency and security of all stages of preparation and holding of elections and increasing the participation of experts, civil society entities, and public institutions in the inspection and auditing of the electoral process. The Commission is made up of technology experts and institutional and social actors, including representatives from the TCU, the National Congress, the Federal Police, the General Electoral Attorney, the Federal Council of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), and the Armed Forces.

The Commission will act in two stages: in the first, it will analyze the TSE's action plan to increase the transparency of the electoral process. In the second, it will monitor and supervise the development phases of the electoral systems and the auditing of the electoral process, being able to provide opinions and recommend additional actions to ensure maximum transparency.

It should be noted that other measures to increase the transparency of the electoral process, which are under analysis by various working groups of the Court, will be presented in due course to the Election Transparency Commission, which will be able to provide an opinion on their content and recommend additional actions.

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