A group of civil society entities are mobilizing to react to possible attempts to disrupt the vote on the 2nd.
Gathered in fortnightly meetings since July, and weekly since last week, the representatives of the organizations have been mapping the main risks of occurrences and distributing tasks among their members.
The actions already carried out so far, jointly or individually by each group, range from efforts to ensure that city halls guarantee public transport to the polling stations to meetings with representatives from other countries to ensure rapid recognition of the result of the vote.
The idea is that, on voting day, the entities are gathered in a physical place yet to be defined, which will function as a kind of “situation room” to react to possible problems, says Flávia Pellegrino, executive coordinator of the Pact for Democracy, that integrates the group.
Among the other entities that have participated in the preparations for the date are the Arns Commission, Conectas, Rights Now!, Tide Setubal Foundation, Transparency International, Rede Liberdade and Raps (Political Action Network for Sustainability), among others.
The “civic vigil” will also play a symbolic role, says Pellegrino, of showing that civil society is committed to defending the integrity of the electoral process.
It is a reaction to the series of attacks on the Brazilian electoral system made by President Jair Bolsonaro (PL). In addition to making a series of false and already disproved statements about the electronic voting system, Bolsonaro on more than one occasion has cast doubt on his stance on the outcome of the popular choice.
Last year, he even said that he would only leave the presidency dead or with a victory and, in this year, he put as a condition to accept the result that the elections were “clean”, which on several occasions he has already questioned.
The work of the entities, explains the coordinator, is based on three axes: the qualification of the electoral process, encouraging citizens’ participation in the election; the defense of the electoral process, with actions to mitigate eventual constraints to those who vote; and the defense of the outcome of the popular choice.
The idea is that different fronts act to achieve these goals. Some of the work will take place on election Sunday, but much of it has already begun.
This Friday (23), for example, Raps sent the councilors who make up its network a suggestion to send a request to the Executive Branch of the municipality where they operate, asking what the plan is to guarantee public transport to citizens in the election.
Suggestions were made to the mayors and vice-presidents with the same objective.
Other groups are working on the social networks front, a performance that will be maintained and eventually reinforced on Sunday. The objective is to detect the spread of disinformation about the process and react quickly.
Vigil representatives will also be in contact with digital platforms to try to get quick answers during the vote.
On the public security front, contacts have already been made with state prosecutors across the country and even with some governors so that the police are oriented on how to react to possible attempts to disrupt the process.
In another line of action, says Pellegrino, contacts have also been made with more than two dozen embassies in search of a quick recognition of the result of the vote, whatever it may be.
This management with international actors is the continuation of a work that has already been done for months by entities such as the Pact for Democracy itself and the Washington Brazil Office.
Representatives of these organizations, among others, have already gone to Capitol Hill, the US Department of State and the European Parliament this year to warn about threats to the electoral system in Brazil and ask interlocutors to speak out recognizing the validity of the election result.
On the 2nd, members of the “civic vigil” will also be in direct contact with observers of the election in Brazil.
In the coordinator’s assessment, any punctual occurrence in the voting in the country can generate noise and escalate throughout the country. Therefore, he says, the idea is that the action has national scope.
A possible follow-up of the total number of votes is not ruled out. The initiative would be a way of not leaving the Armed Forces alone in the initiative.
Such as Sheet revealed, military personnel should be sent to take pictures of ballot boxes and check if the data are the same as those that arrive at the TSE (Superior Electoral Court).
The joint action of civil society in defense of the electoral process echoes initiatives taken in other countries such as the United States and the Philippines, in which the entities met to react to attempts by their representatives to discredit the system.
The vigil does not have exactly the same actors who articulated the reading of the letters for democracy on August 11, but they all supported the act carried out at the USP Law School.