There is no evidence that polls arrived in Cordeiro (RJ) with votes already registered

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False: The audio content that states that electronic voting machines would have arrived in the city of Cordeiro, in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro, with registered votes for the PT candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is false. In a note, the Regional Electoral Court (TRE-RJ) announced the opening of an investigation at the registry office of the 52nd Electoral Zone (Cordeiro) against the suspect of producing the disinformation content. Before starting the voting process, all electronic voting machines go through the procedure for issuing the zerésima, a document that confirms that no votes have been deposited in the equipment.

Investigated Content: audio that circulates on WhatsApp points to alleged electoral fraud through the insertion of votes – in advance and in favor of Lula – in electronic ballot boxes sent to the city of Cordeiro, in Rio de Janeiro.

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where it was published: Whatsapp.

Completion of Proof: The information that two electronic voting machines sent to the Rio de Janeiro city of Cordeiro already had registered votes for Lula is false, as an audio that circulates on WhatsApp says. The Regional Electoral Court of Rio de Janeiro (TRE-RJ) denied the content in a note published on Wednesday (28/9). The State Public Ministry (MPE-RJ) also classified the content as false.

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According to the text published on the court’s website, the Electoral Justice of Rio ended the equipment preparation in a ceremony open to the public and entities, such as parties and the Public Ministry. Through the MPE-RJ, they followed the preparation of the polls teams of the 52nd Electoral Prosecutor’s Office that operates in Cordeiro. No type of irregularity was found in the approximately 39,000 ballot boxes that will be used in the state on Sunday (2), when the first round of the 2022 elections takes place.

Even if there was a problem during preparation, in every election the polls need to go through the process of issuing the zerésima on polling day, before polling stations open to the public. The zerésima is a document printed on the ballot box itself and attests that there is no vote registered in the device. Once printed, it must be signed by the president of the polling station and by the polling station officials and inspectors of the parties or coalitions present at the location.

After the audio was circulated, TRE reported that the registry office of the 52nd Electoral Zone of Rio, which is located in Cordeiro, opened an investigation to hold the author of the false statements responsible. According to the court, the suspect has been identified and must answer criminally.

Falsefor Comprova, is content invented or that has undergone edits to change its original meaning and has been deliberately disclosed to spread a falsehood.

Scope of publication: It is not possible to measure the reach of messages circulating on WhatsApp.

What the author of the publication says: It is not possible to identify the author of the audio that circulates on WhatsApp, so Comprova was unable to contact him. The registry office of the 52nd Electoral Zone of Rio de Janeiro says it has collected evidence that indicates the identity of the suspect, but has not revealed this information to the public.

How do we check: We started verification by searching Google for the words “fraud polls” and “Lamb”, which returned to Publication of the Regional Electoral Court of Rio de Janeiro. The content itself cites an investigation opened by the electoral area responsible for the municipality in order to hold the author of the false content responsible.

We also sought information already disclosed by the Electoral Justice that explains the process of preparing the ballot boxes mentioned by the TRE and the operation of the “zerésima” – a document issued on voting day that attests that there are no votes registered in the electronic ballot boxes.

Comprova also sought a position from the Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro, which confirmed that it was false content.

Preparing the polls

After the Superior Electoral Court sends the ballot boxes to the states, the TREs prepare these devices. The process, which is done in a ceremony open to the public, consists of system installation polling system, which includes programs and data on candidates and voters in the region. Then, the Electoral Justice makes tests to verify that the devices are working correctly.

Among the programs included in the polls, there is a TSE software with security mechanisms to prevent installation of programs or data not recognized by the Justice. The devices are never connected to the internet or any other external communication network, which protects them from intrusion. In addition, the systems installed only allow the use of the polls at the time scheduled for voting.

After preparation, the urns are sealed with seals produced by the Casa da Moeda and stored in a location chosen by the TREs. On the eve of the elections, the Electoral Justice transports them to the polling places. Then, to ensure that the devices have not been tampered with, the presidents of polling stations, polling officers and party inspectors present on election day issue and sign the zeros.

TSE video about the zerésima

The zerésima is a report printed by the polls themselves. After printing, it must be kept in an envelope, which at the end of the vote will be sent to the Electoral Court. A copy of the document is also printed at that time and posted on the door of polling stations, in a place visible to voters. Only after these procedures can voting begin.

why do we investigate: Comprova investigates suspicious content that goes viral on the internet and is related to the 2022 elections, the covid-19 pandemic or public policies of the federal government. The verified post disseminates false content that discredits the electoral process and electronic voting machines.

Other checks on the topic: The content targeted by this scan was classified as false by the Regional Electoral Court of Rio de Janeiro. In addition, the audio was denied in checks produced by the G1, Uol Check and Estadãofor example.

Comprova also recently investigated information about alleged reduction in the number of polling stations due to deaths from covid-19; false claims that Electoral Justice officials would be defrauding electronic voting machines during the loading and sealing procedure and that the outsourcing procedures would compromise election integrity.

Investigated by: Nexo, Correio and CBN Cuiabá; Verified by: Plural Curitiba, O Dia, Metrópoles, A Gazeta, Correio Braziliense, O Popular and Piauí

Source: CNN Brasil

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