which is the banana republic now?
The systemic, nationwide voting problems plaguing Tuesday night’s midterm elections in the United States appear all the more disgraceful — and deliberate — when compared to the two remarkably efficient national elections that were conducted in Brazil just last month.
That a country poorer than the U.S., with a much shorter history of democracy, can hold such seamless, fair, participatory, and efficient elections proves that the opposite outcome in the U.S. — massive voter disenfranchisement, multi-hour voting lines, pervasive machine malfunctions, and elections that are not decided until weeks after the fact — are very easily avoided and thus likely intentional.
Brazil’s national elections are comparable in size to the U.S.’s. Although Brazil’s population is slightly less than the that of the U.S. — which is the world’s third-most populous country at roughly 325 million, while Brazil is in fifth place with roughly 210 million — Brazil has mandatory voting, a lower voting age (16), and automatic voter registration for citizens, which means vote totals are comparable. In Brazil’s October 28 run-off presidential election, roughly 110 million votes were cast, in the same range of last night’s U.S. vote total.
Yet Brazil’s elections are plagued by virtually none of the problems that mar the credibility of U.S. elections year after year. On October 7, Brazil held the first round of its presidential elections, which, like in the U.S. midterms, also included electing an entirely new lower house of federal Congress and a portion of the federal Senate, as well as governorships and state house races in all 26 Brazilian states and the federal district.
Like all Brazilian elections, the October 7 national vote was held on Sunday, the day the fewest number of people have to work, ensuring maximum voter participation. Polling closed at 5 p.m. All of the votes were fully counted, and all the results fully known, by 8:30 p.m. that night. There were no lingering unknown outcomes, weeks of uncounted votes, widespread claims of voter disenfranchisement, multi-hour lines that spread around blocks, or obstacles to registering.
The October 28 run-off, which elected Jair Bolsonaro as president and also decided the run-off races for governor in multiple states, was even smoother. Votes are electronically counted all day, but the totals are not released until the last poll closes. By the time the last state closed its polls, at 6 p.m., more than 90 percent of the votes were already counted, and the totals were instantly released. Thus, the outcomes of the presidential race and most of the gubernatorial races were known within minutes after the polls closed, and they were all fully determined within two hours of the polls closing.
Then, there’s the issue of voter participation. Voting is legally mandatory in Brazil: Every citizen over the age of 16 is automatically eligible to vote, and those over 18 are required to do so, facing a trivial fine for failing to do so (absent a valid justification). They are free to vote for “none of the candidates” or leave their ballot blank, but it is a legal duty. Still, in the last election, roughly 20 percent of voters violated that law and abstained from voting. But that means that 80 percent of the adult population voted — a far higher participation rate than any election in the U.S.
That’s because everything about the structure of Brazil’s election system, set forth in the 1989 constitution it enacted after it exited its military dictatorship, is designed to maximize, not suppress, voter participation. All citizens are automatically registered. Voting is mandatory. The elections are held on Sunday, ensuring that working people have the fewest barriers to voting, instead of in the middle of the week. Machine voting is uniform throughout the country’s 27 states.
ps- he mentions the military dictatorship but doesn't say who supported it 100%. (hint: the dictatorship was anti-communist) surprising for greenwald to omit something like that.https://nsarchive2.g...AEBB/NSAEBB465/
Edited by amor de cosmos, 07 November 2018 - 08:49 AM.