Video makes apology for crime by encouraging voters to write their own vote in the electoral section signature book

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False: The content of a video in which voters can put the number of the candidate they will vote for next to their name in the signature book of the polling stations is false in order to be able to audit the vote. The practice in question is an electoral crime and the video investigated, by encouraging it, is committing an apology for an electoral crime. According to the Electoral Code, it is prohibited “to omit, in a public or private document, a statement that should be included in it, or to insert or cause to insert a false or different statement from the one that should be written, for electoral purposes”. The signature book serves to verify the voter’s identity, not his vote, which, by law, is secret. The incentivized act can also be classified as “exiting the ballot box”, whose penalty reaches up to one year of detention.

Investigated Content: Post on TikTok in which a woman reacts with approval to a video in which a man simulates a scenario in which voters alone can facilitate a supposed process of auditing electronic voting machines on election day. The man claims that voters can write a sign of their vote in the polling station signature book, which every voter must sign just before going to the polling booth. In this case, he uses as an example the ballot box number of President Jair Bolsonaro (PL), who is running for reelection.

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where it was published: TikTok.

Completion of Proof: A video on TikTok contains false content arguing that voters’ signatures, if accompanied by the number of the chosen candidate, could generate an audit of the vote. The practice described and simulated in the investigated publication is an electoral crime.

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According to article 350 of the Current Electoral Code, Law 4737, of 1965, it is forbidden “to omit, in a public or private document, a statement that should be included in it, or to insert or cause to insert a false statement or different from that which should be written, for electoral purposes”. The signature book is for check the voter’s identityand not his vote, which, according to article 46 of the same Code, is secret.

As the press office of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) informed Comprova, the practice stimulated by the verified content can also be configured as “urn mouth”, electoral propaganda on polling day aimed at voters about to vote. This is another crime, provided for in item II of the 5th paragraph of article 39 of the Law No. 9,504, of 1997, known as the Elections Law. The penalty can be up to one year in prison.

Falsefor Comprova, is content invented or edited to change its original meaning and deliberately disseminated to spread a falsehood.

Scope of publication: The video on TikTok had 764,200 views, 37,900 likes, and over 8,800 shares as of September 2.

What the author of the publication says: Comprova tried to contact the author of the post via TikTok, but received no response until this verification was published.

How do we check: We searched Google for the keyword “Signature allows vote auditing”, without the quotes, so that we can obtain, as a result, related pages but without necessarily containing that exact phrase. A Google search identified a report published in 2022 by the check-in agency Aos Fatos, which denies the same verified contentis second article, on the TSE website, from 2018, about another post that contained the same allegation.

In addition, we found in the Comprova archives a 2018 article debunking another video that, in the context of that year’s general election, made the same apology for crime. We also sent an email to the press office of the TSE, Brazil’s main electoral authority, presenting the case. In turn, the court’s press office only recommended us to access the current Electoral Code and indicated that the practice stimulated by the verified content can be configured as the crime of “exit”.

apology for crime

The act of writing any indication of one’s own vote in the electoral section’s signature book, as stimulated by the verified content, is a crime, foreseen in the current Electoral Code, Law 4737, of 1965. According to article 350, which is within the “ELECTORAL CRIMES” section, it is prohibited “to omit, in a public or private document, a statement that should be included therein, or to insert or cause to insert a false or different statement from the one that should be written, in order to electoral purposes”. The signature book is for check the voter’s identity, not his vote. The voter is only authorized to sign it, according to the polling station manual for this year’s elections. And, if you have biometrics registered in your voter registration card, the voter is exempt from the act.

According to the TSE press office’s response to Comprova, as well as a 2018 report by the court itself, the practice can constitute “exiting booth”, electoral propaganda on polling day aimed at voters about to vote. This is another crime, provided for in item II of the 5th paragraph of article 39 of the Law No. 9,504, of 1997, known as the Elections Law. The penalty can be up to one year in prison.

Secret vote

Voting secrecy is guaranteed and guaranteed by the federal Constitutionbeing stony clause, that is, it cannot be changed even by Constitutional Amendment. Several Electoral Justice provisions were also designed to guarantee the inviolability and secrecy of the vote, such as the 2022 resolution that determines that the voter must leave the cell phone with the poll worker during voting. THE Law of Elections already prohibited the carrying of cell phones, cameras and camcorders inside the cabin. At the end of this August, the TSE determined that even the Possession of weapons is prohibited in polling stations.. According to Electoral Codeviolate or attempt violating the secrecy of the vote is a crimewith a penalty of imprisonment of up to two years.

Audit methods

Electoral authorities already have official and proven effective methods for auditing polls, including steps that take place even before elections, such as opening polls source code and public security testing.

On election day, electronic voting machines issue the zerésima, a document with the name and party of all candidates running in that state and certifies that there are no votes counted in that urn. The zerésima is issued by poll workers in each polling station before the first voter votes. The chairman of the board, the officers and supervisors present must sign the document.

There is also, on polling day, the integrity test, in which selected ballot boxes are inspected at the headquarters of the Regional Electoral Courts (TREs). This process has been carried out since 2002, and there has never been a discrepancy between the results of the electronic voting machine and the counting of votes on paper.

At the end of voting, each electronic voting machine also issues the ballot box, which shows how many votes each candidate had in each polling station. Since 2016, ballot papers are generated with a QR Code, which allows voters to check votes through the application of the Electoral Justice, “Bulletin in hand”.

Printed bulletins are issued in at least five copies. One of them is posted on the door of each polling station and two are taken to the electoral office. O document records the total votes by partytotal votes per candidate, total null and blank votes, total voter turnout, identification of the section and electoral zone, closing time of the election, internal code of the electronic voting machine and a string of characters for validation of the ballot.

voting book

The voting book is one of the ways to check the voter’s identitywho must sign it before voting. Whoever has the biometrics registered does not need to register the signature in the voting book, except in the event of an error or any other difficulty in biometric recognition.

why do we investigate: Comprova investigates suspicious content that went viral on social media about the covid-19 pandemic, public policies of the federal government and presidential elections. The content found here confuses people about the presidential elections and the electoral process as a whole. In addition, there is the aggravating factor of encouraging voters to commit a crime.

Other checks on the topic: The checking agency to the facts also denied the same content. In 2018, in the context of the general elections of that year, Comprova checks and of the TSE denied another post that promoted the same claim as the one verified here.

Recently, in relation to the audit of elections and electronic voting machines, Comprova also explained How does the inspection of the source code of electronic voting machines workshowed that there is no device in electronic voting machines capable of altering voting and denied one piece of disinformation according to which 32,000 ballot boxes were tapped with the aim of defrauding the election.

Investigated by: Uol and Crusoé; Verified by: Plural Curitiba, Correio do Povo, Piauí, Metrópoles, CNN Brasil, O Dia and A Gazeta

Source: CNN Brasil

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