Brazilian E-voting, Progress or Disorder?

Is Brazil, which national motto is “Order and Progress”, too careless in ignoring the stern advice of cyber security specialists against their full commitment to electronic voting?

ArsTechnica reports in In a blow to e-voting critics, Brazil suspends use of all paper ballots that:

  • Brazil’s Supreme Court has suspended the use of all paper ballots in this year’s upcoming elections. As such, only electronic ballot boxes will be used;
  • There are beliefs and even a religion around the theme of e-voting, according to a Brazilian Supreme Court Justice;
  • The decision came three months after a team of computer scientists published a research paper that reported a litany of serious technical flaws in Brazil’s current electronic voting system – which is implied to have been disregarded; and
  • One of the coauthors of the research paper stated:

Today marks a sad ending to 6 years of hard work to prove our voting system is insecure. I decided to become a scientist with the firm belief that science can change and improve society and the world around us, but maybe I was too naive to think this was possible in Brazil. Diego F. Aranha (@dfaranha) June 6, 2018

The Brazilian decision goes against the curbing of e-voting programs in other countries over cyber security and legal concerns, such as:

Brazil is taking a risk. I wonder about the extent to which the Brazilian Supreme Court has assessed the risk of fraud and how the risk compares to the desired benefits and opportunities of e-voting, which I discussed in e-voting: cyber risks & e-democracy opportunities.

Brazil is making a courageous, a bold and a risky move. Risks are necessary for progress. To the point of the Brazilian national motto (“Ordem e Progresso” – Order & Progress), I hope the risk will be managed with order and bring the desired progress.

 

Featured photo by Rafaela Biazi on Unsplash.

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