Urna+Eletrônica.jpgThe electronic ballot box is a microcomputer for specific use for elections, with the following characteristics: resistant, small, light, with energy autonomy and with security features.

Two terminals make up the electronic ballot box: the polling station, where the voter is identified and authorized to vote (in some models of ballot boxes, their identity is verified using biometrics), and the voter terminal, where the vote is registered numerically.

The polling station terminal has a numeric keypad, where the voter registration number is typed, and a liquid crystal screen, where the voter's name appears, if he/she belongs to that electoral section and if he/she is able to vote. Before granting authorization, in sections with biometric identification, voters have their identity validated by the ballot box. Therefore, one voter cannot vote for another.

The electronic ballot box only records the indication that the voter has already voted. Due to the internal shuffling and other security mechanisms, there is no possibility of verifying which candidates a voter voted for, respecting the Brazilian Federal Constitution, which determines the confidentiality of the vote.

Three small visual signals (LEDs) assist the person at the polling station, informing him/her if the terminal is available to the voter, if he/she has already completed the vote, and if the electronic ballot box is working connected to the electric current or to the internal battery.

The voter terminal, on the other hand, has a numeric keyboard, used to register the vote, and a liquid crystal screen, where messages that guide the voter to register his/her vote appear.

If there is any problem with the electronic ballot box during voting, contingency procedures will be adopted to remedy it.

Accessibility during elections

Effective citizenship must reach everyone, and this requires measures that promote people's accessibility to everything that makes them citizens.

The Electoral Court has several mechanisms to ensure citizens access to the polling station, including priority assistance for people with disabilities, with reduced mobility, aged over 60 years, pregnant women, nursing mothers and people with infants.

A voter with a disability may request the transfer of the polling place to a special section that may better suit his/her needs, such as a section installed in a place with ramps and/or elevators. This can be done at the electoral register up to 151 days before the elections.

Up to 90 days before the election, disabled voters who vote in special sections may communicate to the electoral judge, in writing, their restrictions and needs, so that the Electoral Court can provide, if possible, the means and resources to facilitate their exercise of the vote.

Finally, at the time of voting, if no request has been made, the voter can still inform the polling station of his/her limitations, so that the Electoral Court can provide the appropriate solutions at that time.

The voter can also count on the help of a person he/she trusts, who, if authorized by the presiding officer of the polling station, can accompany him/her, entering the polling booth and even typing the numbers in the ballot box. The condition is that the presence of the accompanying person is essential for the vote to take place and that the person chosen is not at the service of the Electoral Justice, a political party, or a coalition.

All electronic voting machines are prepared to serve people with visual impairments. In addition to the Braille system and the identification of the number five key on keyboards, the electoral courts make headphones available in special polling stations and in those where there is a specific request, so that the blind or visually impaired voter can receive sound signals indicating the chosen number.

Before that, it is possible to use the common alphabet or Braille to sign the voting book, or mark the ballots, if applicable. The use of any mechanical instrument that the person can carry or is supplied to the person by the polling station is also guaranteed.

In the case of illiterate people, voting is optional. Even so, if someone in this condition decides to vote and does not know how to sign, he/she can use the fingerprint of his/her right thumb. Illiterate voters are also entitled to use a “cheat sheet” (noting the number of their candidates) to facilitate voting. The use of instruments that can help the person vote is allowed, but the Electoral Court is not obliged to provide them.

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