Brazil. Some voting machines that will be used for an integrity test before the general elections in Brazil will be activated with voter biometrics, according to the president of the country's electoral tribunal, Alexandre de Moraes.
Biometric scanning systems will be installed on 56 of the 641 test machines. Biometric voting machines have been a target for Brazil since at least 2012.
That's a six-fold increase in the planned number of all integrity checks compared to previous elections. The checks are carried out in each election cycle and are intended to ensure that voting machines minimise fraud.
The move follows the recommendations of Defense Minister Paulo Sérgio Nogueira, although the military has no constitutional role in advising on electoral matters, writes The Brazilian Report. The defense minister is quoted as saying he has been pushing for greater electoral transparency and accountability in Latin America's largest democracy.
Around 500,000 voting machines are distributed across the country during the actual vote. Integrity testing has been a practice in Brazil since 2002. Since 2008, Brazilian officials have been working to introduce biometrics at different levels of the electoral process, the report notes.
Campaigns are underway in Brazil ahead of general elections scheduled for Oct. 2. Votes cast during the test will be counted as legitimate votes.
Voters will elect a president, a vice president and members of the national congress. Current President Jair Bolsonaro, who faces stiff competition from former President Lula da Silva, is seeking a second term.
The New York Times recently reported on Bolsonaro's claims that voting machines are vulnerable to fraud and said he will challenge the credibility of polls if he is defeated on Election Day.
Brazilian authorities announced in July that new national identity passports and passports would be available in September.
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