Highlights

  • Outgoing Brazil Prez Jair Bolsonaro contest poll results
  • Jair alleges software bug in machines
  • Demands to annul votes cast in election

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Jair Bolsonaro challenges Brazil election, demands votes be annulled

The complaint characterized the bug as "irreparable non-compliance due to malfunction" that called into question the authenticity of the results.

More than three weeks after losing a reelection bid, President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday blamed a software bug and demanded the electoral authority annul votes cast on most of Brazil's nation's electronic voting machines, though independent experts say the bug doesn't affect the reliability of results.

Such an action would leave Bolsonaro with 51 per cent of the remaining valid votes — and a reelection victory, Marcelo de Bessa, the lawyer who filed the 33-page request on behalf of the president and his Liberal Party, told reporters.

The electoral authority has already declared victory for Bolsonaro's nemesis, leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and even many of the president's allies have accepted the results. Protesters in cities across the country have steadfastly refused to do the same, particularly with Bolsonaro declining to concede.

Liberal Party leader Valdemar Costa and an auditor hired by the party told reporters in Brasilia that their evaluation found all machines dating from before 2020 — nearly 280,000 of them, or about 59 per cent of the total used in the October 30 runoff — lacked individual identification numbers in internal logs.

Neither explained how that might have affected election results, but said they were asking the electoral authority to invalidate all votes cast on those machines.

Also Watch| Brazil: Jair Bolsonaro supporters call on military to keep him in power

The complaint characterized the bug as "irreparable non-compliance due to malfunction" that called into question the authenticity of the results.

Immediately afterward, the head of the electoral authority issued a ruling that implicitly raised the possibility that Bolsonaro's own party could suffer from such a challenge.

Alexandre de Moraes said the court would not consider the complaint unless the party offers an amended report within 24 hours that would include results from the first electoral round on Oct. 2, in which the Liberal Party won more seats in both congressional houses than any other.

The bug hadn't been known previously, yet experts said it also doesn't affect results. Each voting machine can still be easily identified through other means, like its city and voting district, according to Wilson Ruggiero, a professor of computer engineering and digital systems at the Polytechnic School of the University of Sao Paulo.

Diego Aranha, an associate professor of systems security at Aarhus University in Denmark, who has participated in official security tests of Brazil's electoral system, agreed.

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