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Brazil's president rouses supporters in protests against voting system

Matthew Malinowski, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro lashed out against the country’s electronic voting system on Sunday, rousing supporters who took to the streets in major cities over fears of cheating in next year’s election.

The 2022 presidential contest should use paper ballots and have a public vote count to ensure fraud doesn’t occur, Bolsonaro said in an address to backers that was posted on his Facebook page. Electoral officials have said there’s been no proven case of tampering since electronic voting was introduced.

“You are there to — aside from clamoring for a guarantee of freedom — to seek a way to have clean and democratic elections next year,” Bolsonaro said. “Without clean and democratic elections, there won’t be an election.”

 

Bolsonaro is expected to face stiff competition in next year’s race, with likely adversaries including left-wing icon Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Last week he amplified his criticism of Brazil’s voting system, presenting a series of conspiracy theories and debunked Internet videos as evidence that elections are vulnerable to cheating. Sunday’s marches took place in at least 10 states including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, newspaper O Globo reported.

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