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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro met with dozens of foreign diplomats this week to present allegations regarding supposed vulnerabilities in Brazil’s electronic voting system ahead of October’s presidential elections, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
In a meeting at the presidential palace, Bolsonaro did not provide concrete evidence for his claims. He cited a Federal Police report on alleged hacking into electronic voting machines, even though Brazil’s electoral authority had said in August 2021 that investigators never found any indication of fraud.
The far-right leader added that an electronic system cannot provide a “100 percent guarantee of security” for voters, and suggested that Brazil’s electoral authority should take advice from the military on potential improvements to the voting system.
Bolsonaro also used the event to lambast justices of the Supreme Court – some of whom are also members of the electoral authority – suggesting that they will favor his opponent, former leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Local media reported that at least 70 diplomats, including dozens of ambassadors, attended the meeting.
Now, critics of the Brazilian leader worry that Bolsonaro’s meeting is to shore up his case that the election was tainted should he lose. Opinion polls show that Bolsonaro is trailing behind Da Silva, who governed Brazil between 2003 and 2010.
Following the meeting, electoral officials tried to debunk falsehoods about the country’s elections, including Bolsonaro’s allegations.
Since 1996, Brazil has used an electronic voting system and authorities have never found proof of widespread fraud.