I entered the career of the Magistracy of the State of Minas in 1989, after an arduous public contest. In addition to judging common, civil and criminal cases, in more than three decades I presided over several elections in the interior of the state; the municipal election of Belo Horizonte, in 2004; and the Regional Electoral Court-MG, between 2019 and 2020. I’m from the time of elections with paper ballots. I can assure you that the adoption of electronic voting machines, in 1996, was a great evolutionary milestone in the performance of our Electoral Justice. I’ve never had any problems with electronic voting. On the contrary, it provides security and speed in capturing votes.
However, since the 2018 elections, a significant portion of Brazilian society has come to distrust the electronic voting system. And indeed, mishaps present themselves. For example, in the first round of the 2020 municipal elections, we found it difficult for many voters to download the e-Título app; attack attempt hacker to the computer system of the Superior Electoral Court; and delay in disclosing the results of the counting of votes, centralized in the TSE.
No technological system is absolutely infallible. With prudence and dedication, the Electoral Justice needs to gradually evolve towards a technologically more sophisticated and reliable electoral process.
Although the ethical deviations of many public figures justify a certain disenchantment with politics, it is a disservice for voters to not turn up at the polls.
It is therefore essential to pay attention to the principle of transparency. Articles 10 and 11 of the Code of Ethics of the National Judiciary require the publicity of the acts of the magistrates and the duty of information. The prudent judge “is the one who seeks to adopt behaviors and decisions that are the result of a rationally justified judgment, after having meditated and evaluated the available arguments and counter-arguments, in the light of applicable law”, as the aforementioned code recalls.
Moreover, the principle of cooperation can be applied to the electoral process, by analogy. Modernly, the activities of the judge and the parties require mutual collaboration and permanent dialogue, aiming at the enunciation of the appropriate legal rule for the solution of the case. Experienced by the length of my career, I increasingly value the idea of impartiality: “The impartial magistrate is the one who seeks the truth of the facts in the evidence, with objectivity and foundation, maintaining an equivalent distance from the parties throughout the process, and avoids all the type of behavior that may reflect favoritism, predisposition or prejudice” (Code of Ethics cit., art. 8). Neutrality is much more necessary, I think, in the exercise of electoral jurisdiction.
Periodic elections are one of the pillars of the Democratic State of Law, established by the 1988 Constitution. Although the ethical deviations of many public figures justify a certain disenchantment with politics, it is a disservice to the development of democracy that voters fail to turn up at the polls; or attendance only to nullify the vote or vote blank. Plato advocated the dedication of good people to public life. If they turn away from politics, the vacuum will be filled by unscrupulous people.
On May 5, one day after the deadline for electoral registration, the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) announced that, in total, 2.04 million new voters between the ages of 16 and 17 had registered to vote in 2022. . This number, still partial, is already 47.2% higher than the adhesion recorded in 2018. The fact was celebrated by the so-called “progressive” segments and considered a direct result of the campaigns to encourage youth voting, promoted, including, by the TSE itself.
Democracy requires, in the name of gun parity, that the adult electorate also be targeted in campaigns in favor of voter turnout in the 2022 elections. of those over 16 and under 18, it is optional
By the way, warned the experienced journalist Alexandre Garcia about the huge abstention of the electorate in recent national elections, in Chile and Colombia: “The lesson is: if you give up your power to vote, you cannot complain later if someone wrong is elected, someone who will destroy your family. and leave a bad future for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren”.
The due impartiality of the Electoral Justice requires this counterpart of encouraging the participation of the senior electorate in the national election of next October.
Rogério Medeiros He is a Doctor of Law, university professor and judge at the Minas Gerais Court of Justice.