By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) approved on Tuesday the shipment of federal troops to 357 locations throughout the country during Sunday’s elections to ensure voter safety. The country’s Federal Police (PF), after monitoring social media sites for several weeks launched an operation early Wednesday morning to curb crimes related to the elections.
“The actions are part of the activities carried out to monitor social networks with the objective of identifying and avoiding possible electoral crimes and threats to competing candidates,” said the statement released by the PF on Wednesday.
In all warrants were issued in in four states (São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Sul). Among the crimes identified by the Federal Police are violations of secrecy of the vote and incitement to murder by candidates’ supporters.
Earlier this week the TSE issued a letter to all Brazilians assuring the safety of the electronic voting machines and the legitimacy of Sunday’s elections.
“The Brazilian electronic machines are totally safe. They count on eight physical barriers and thirty digital barriers against hackers and cyber-attacks and at NO TIME are the machines connected to the worldwide Internet,” stated the TSE’s ‘Letter to the Brazilian Nation’.
On the day of the voting, ten states will count on military personnel at major voting locations. The states authorized to receive military personnel include Acre, Amazonas, Ceará, Mato Grosso, Maranhão, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Pará and Tocantins.
In the first round of elections, troops were sent to 513 locations in eleven states.
As in the first round of elections, an observation mission from the Organization of American States (OAS) will be monitoring Brazil’s election. The team will be divided to go to eleven states and monitor voting locations.
In addition, other OAS members will observe the overseas voting process in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Montreal, Paris, Santiago de Chile and Washington DC.
In all, the group led by former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, is made up of thirty experts and observers.