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OAS Electoral Observation Mission present in Brazil highlights the work of the Superior Electoral Tribunal in holding its Municipal Elections in the extraordinary context of a pandemic

  November 18, 2020

The full Preliminary Report is available here.

The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS/EOM) welcomes the work of the electoral authority and the commitment of the Brazilian citizenry in holding the Municipal Elections in the complex context of a pandemic.

On October 9, the Secretary General of the OAS (GS/OAS), Luis Almagro, and the President of the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Luis Roberto Barroso, signed the agreements on electoral procedures required for the deployment of the Mission.

The Organization appreciates the consideration of the TSE´s Minister President in also agreeing to a technical meeting with the Electoral Observation Mission in Washington DC, a demonstration of institutional openness and transparency.

For this electoral process, 147,917,483 Brazilian citizens were eligible to vote for Mayors and Vice-Mayors (Prefectos y Viceprefectos) and Councilors (Vereadores) in 5,568 country´s municipalities for the period 2021- 2024.

The Organization of American States (OAS) demonstrated its commitment by being present in the Federative Republic of Brazil, despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic, where it deployed in the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Goiania and Valparaiso, to gather different perspectives on the electoral process, follow the preparations for the elections and observe Election Day.

The EOM, which was made up of 14 observers and experts from 9 countries, was led by Uruguayan Ambassador Agustín Espinosa Lloveras, and was deployed in the country from November 7. The Mission conducted a substantive analysis of technical issues related to the electoral process, including electoral organization and technology, political financing, electoral justice, the political participation of women, and the participation of indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants.

Due to the pandemic, the Mission combined face-to-face and virtual work modalities, which allowed it to hold more than 60 meetings with various stakeholders involved in the municipal electoral process.

OAS experts and observers met with political actors, electoral and government authorities and candidates, as well as representatives and campaign teams from political organizations in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Likewise, they interviewed scholars, representatives of civil society and national electoral observers. In the latter regard, the Mission welcomes the implementation of national observation in Brazil, as recommended by the OAS following the 2018 election.

Among the more critical of the Mission’s engagements were the meetings with the Superior Electoral Tribunal, represented by its President Luis Roberto Barroso, as well as with other members of the Plenary and officials from different technical areas of the TSE; the visit to the Itamaraty Palace, where a meeting was held with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Fraga Araújo; and the meeting with Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras.

At the state level, the EOM held meetings with the regional electoral authorities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Goiania. The Mission's electoral organization and technology experts observed the preparation of the electronic 2 ballot boxes, including test runs, the software loading and confirmation process, audits, parallel voting and transmission of results, from the Regional Electoral Tribunals in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and the cartórios.


The full Preliminary Report is available here.

Reference: S-022/20