TCU evaluates the review in polls and says the system is ‘robust and reliable’

Bruno Dantas
Minister Bruno Dantas. Credit: TCU

The Federal Court of Auditors (TCU) has entered into a debate instigated by President Jair Bolsonaro (PL) about the safety of electronic voting machines. Minister Bruno Dantas, Wednesday (18/4), gave a preliminary assessment of the review of the ballot boxes in which the Court participated and that are subject to its decision. In conclusion, the system is “solid, reliable and appropriate for the exercise of citizenship.”

He divided the audit into two phases, and according to him, “the weaknesses found by the investigators were corrected and the secrecy of the vote and the compilation of the investigation were not violated.”

Read the full statement below:

Madam President,
Madam Attorney General,

I draw the attention of the plenary to information on the progress of the audit under my report, which aims to assess the security, reliability, transparency and auditability of the Brazilian electronic voting system (TC 014.328 / 2021-6).

First, I affirm that direct, secret, universal and periodic voting, which is included as a permanent clause in the Magna Carta (Article 60, paragraph 4, 2) is the main instrument of democracy in Brazil, and there can be no doubt about the credibility of preserving the will of the voter.

Moreover, it is the duty of this Court, proclaimed in its Strategic Plan, to urge the availability and reliability of information held by public institutions, through measures that enable citizens to participate effectively in the control of public administration.

Therefore, it has authorized the conduct of the audit in six phases, in order to provide a wide scope and concomitant monitoring of the measures adopted by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal for the 2022 elections.

In the first two phases of the audit already judged (Plenary Resolutions 2,522 and 3,143/2021), the Support Coordination Unit made important contributions to the community and the processing of financial transactions, with a focus on clarifying the key risk management mechanisms, security and transparency adopted in the three phases of the electoral process, before, on polling day and after polling, allowing for the possibility of auditing the vote.

In a meeting with my advisors, the State Administration External Oversight Secretariat and the Information Technology Inspection Secretariat reported that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal had already implemented improvements in the transparency of the electoral process based on the recommendations and observations of the early stages of Lie.

It is important to stress that the security mechanisms assessed are duly foreseen in current legislation and have been shown to adhere to the required levels of reliability, in accordance with auditing standards. To be considered legitimate, the performance of any of the three powers in monitoring the electoral process can only take place within this normative framework, which has already been reinforced for the upcoming elections.

The next stages of the audit include the participation of specialized IT auditors, who will also monitor the performance of TREs in the context of elections.

Teams are already reviewing Business Continuity Management to verify that contingency plans to deal with any disruption to the normal voting process are adequate, including managing vote backups.

Auditors also assess security in developing systems; incident management; Performing the internal audit of the Supreme Electoral Court and implementing the national cybersecurity strategy for electoral justice.

Finally, the preparation, implementation, counting, compilation and publication of the results of the 2022 general election will be monitored.

In other words, this court will analyze the work of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal at the same time until the stage of announcing the election results. Within its constitutional powers, the Transition Coordination Unit will use its auditing tools and methods, in a prominent technical manner, to scrutinize the work of electoral justice, in the interest of transparency and accountability to society.

I expect that representatives of the audit team personally followed, from March 30 to April 3, the process of the by-election for the mayor of Agodos do Sul – PR, from the preparation of the ballot to the total votes, as a test of the procedure and methodology for the general election in October 2022.

The team monitored the work of the Parana Regional Electoral Tribunal and the local electoral register, as well as the role of party inspectors in exercising social control.

It was reported that a few minutes after the end of polling, and about thirty minutes before the official count, supporters of the participating candidates already showed the total of ballot boxes placed at the doors of the polling stations, indicating the result of the vote. vote.

The total of ballot papers conducted by party inspectors was subsequently confirmed by the official total score, demonstrating in this local environment the reliability of the vote counting and counting process.

The audit team also monitored the performance of the Public Security Test (TPS) by TSE in its two phases. The first is from 22 to 11/27/2021, and the second is from 11 to 13/5/2022.

In the first phase of testing, 26 teams of investigators implemented 29 offensive plans, with attempts to alter ballot box programs, alter the election result, or violate the secrecy of the vote. Five attacks had some sort of relevant outcome, but none of them had the ability to alter votes or affect their totals.

In the second phase, the investigators responsible for the five successful attack plans conducted new tests and validated the solutions developed by the TSE technical team. It was thus established that the weaknesses found by the investigators had been corrected, and the secrecy of the voting and compilation of the investigation had not been breached.

Finally, I stress the importance of the role of the eminent Minister Benjamin Zimler as the representative of the Federal Audit Court in the Commission on Election Transparency, established by the Supreme Electoral Court at the end of 2021, and through which the Court, with the skill of His Excellency the Minister, can contribute seriously and responsibly to the improvement of the electoral process, which It is already solid, reliable and sufficient to exercise citizenship.

TCU, session room, on May 18, 2022.
Minister Bruno Dantas

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