Brazil's House of Deputies Tuesday voted against President Jair Bolsonaro's plan to make changes to the electronic voting system, which would have allowed for more reliable monitoring of post-election counting.
The nays had 229 votes against 218 and 1 abstention so that an amendment in the Constitution to adopt a mixed voting system with electronic and paper ballots will not happen.
Without a mixed, more reliable mechanism, Bolsonaro has threatened not to recognize the results of the 2022 presidential elections. He is convinced that the electronic ballot boxes, in use since 1996, encourage fraud.
The decision of the Lower House is a hard defeat for the president and completely shelves the initiative, which needed the support of at least three-fifths of the plenary session (308 of the 513 deputies) to pass through the Senate.
The result did not reach a quorum for approval, it will be shelved and this matter is closed for this year. There is no time or space to start a new discussion, said House Speaker Arthur Lira.
The electronic ballot box is auditable, fraud is the printed vote, said Deputy Elvino José Bohn Gass, of the opposition Workers Party (PT).
The electronic voting system in use in Brazil since 1996 has not been the subject of suspicion until Bolsonaro undertook a fierce campaign against electronic ballot boxes, which he has used to disqualify electoral authorities and cast doubt on the legitimacy of the current counting method.
Bolsonaro claims the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) does not want printed ballots in order to favor former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to win the October 2022 elections.
Due to these remarks, the TSE has placed Bolsonaro under administrative inquiry and asked the Supreme Court (STF) to criminally investigate him for the dissemination of fake news against democratic institutions.
Tuesday's vote took place simultaneously to an unprecedented military parade in front of the Planalto presidential palace, which many viewed as intimidating towards the Legislative and Judiciary.