A few days before the elections on Sunday, October 2 in Brazil, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva leads the polls with figures that bring him closer to half the valid votes he needs to win in the first round. The current president, Jair Bolsonaro, is seeking reelection and follows him with about a third of the preferences. More than 156 million Brazilians are summoned to the voting stations in the 26 States of the country and the Federal District of Brasilia to elect, in addition to the next President of the Republic, federal and state deputies, senators and governors. The entire Chamber of Deputies and a third of the Senate will be renewed.
How to vote?
Voting is mandatory for Brazilians between 18 and 69 years old, and optional for young people between 16 and 17 years old, as well as for those over 70. To access the ballot box, voters must present a document with a photo to prove their identity . You can check your polling station at Superior Electoral Court page.
There are five positions in dispute in these elections: federal deputy, state deputy, senator, governor and president. In the electronic ballot box the options are displayed in that order. The voter must enter the number of his candidate and verify his name and photograph to confirm his vote. Lula, for example, is number 13; Bolsonaro, on the 22nd. The use of cell phones is not allowed in the voting booth, which must be left beforehand at the voting table.
In Brazil there is no national ‘dry law’, which imposes restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages, but some of the less populated states adopt some type of regulation. The electoral legislation establishes that voters cannot be arrested or detained from Tuesday, five days before the elections, and up to 48 days after the first round on Sunday, unless they are caught in flagrante delicto, in compliance with a judicial sentence for a crime not subject to bail or for breach of safe conduct.
What do the polls say?
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One week before the vote, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (44.9%) had about ten points ahead of Jair Bolsonaro (34.5%), according to the average of polls conducted by EL PAÍS. In third place appears Ciro Gomes (7.1%) and in fourth Simone Tebet (4.9%).
In the last week of the campaign, an avalanche of polls is still being reported. In some, Lula is close to 48% and Bolsonaro drops slightly to about 32%. If only the valid votes are considered (without counting blank, null and undecided votes), with these figures the former president could exceed the threshold of half the votes he needs to seal the election in the first round, something he did not achieve on both occasions previous years in which he was elected president (2002 and 2006). In the midst of the measurement frenzy, the firms Ipec and Datafolha will present their latest measurements on Saturday, the eve of the elections.
What are the presidential election times?
The votes of the first round will be on Sunday, October 2. The polls are open for a period of 9 hours, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., in accordance with Brasilia time. All voters turn out simultaneously, even if there is a difference between the time slots in a country of continental dimensions. It is expected that an hour after the polls close, the first results of election day will be known.
When is the second round scheduled?
If none of the presidential candidates exceeds half of the valid votes this Sunday, the second round between the first two will be held on Sunday, October 30. It is the same system for the 27 governors who will be elected.
Who are the main candidates?
Lula da Silva, who was already president between 2002 and 2010, is the favorite. Forged in trade union struggles, the leftist leader helped found the Workers’ Party in the 1980s and lost three elections before being elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, both times in runoffs. He left office with very high levels of popularity, but later spent 580 days in prison convicted of corruption. In 2019 he was released from prison and later the justice annulled his conviction due to formal defects in the judicial process.
The current far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, is seeking re-election as a Liberal Party candidate. A deputy in Brasilia for almost 30 years, he was elected amid the discredit of the traditional parties in 2018, when he presented himself as a outsider. His period has been surrounded by all kinds of controversies, including having minimized the coronavirus pandemic.
Cyrus Gomes, former governor of the state of Ceará, is running as a third way. The candidate of the Democratic Labor Party (PDT, for its acronym in Portuguese) has already been a candidate in 1998, 2002 and 2018, and he does not give his arm to twist despite the calls to clear the way for a victory for Lula in the first lap.
the senator Simone Tebbet, of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), appears fourth in the polls. Like Ciro Gomes, he defends the need for an alternative to Bolsonaro and Lula.
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