Saudade: News from and for the Brazilian community/Notícias de e para a comunidade brasileira

Brazil’s 2018 political race


A tradução deste artigo se encontra no nosso site:—translation/.


This is one of a series of columns in which I will discuss the 2018 Brazilian political race. In this first column, I will start by discussing some peculiarities and history.

This year, on Oct. 7, Brazilians all over the world will come together to choose their next president, governor, senator, congressman, and state or district deputy. The elected candidates will serve a term beginning on Jan. 1, 2019. For almost all positions, other than senators, the term of office is four years; senators have eight years in office. The reason why I say that Brazilians all over the world will vote is that Brazil, despite being the eighth economic power of the world, with a democracy recognized by all, where there is separation of the three powers, remains among the 24 countries that still require its citizens to vote. Brazilians on foreign soil vote at the Brazilian Consulate that has jurisdiction over the area they live in, and only vote for president.

The 2018 Brazilian presidential election will have the largest number of candidates since the 1989 race — the first election after Brazil went from a dictatorship (1964–85) to a democracy. There are 13 candidates running to be Brazil’s next president, and if you are wondering, in Brazil we have way more than just the Democratic and Republican parties; Brazil has 35 registered political parties. Other differences between politics between the U.S. and Brazil are:


The ‘dry law’

It is states and municipalities that decide on the ban of the sale and consumption of alcohol on election day, as well as on the term of the so-called “dry law.” Therefore, it can exist in some cities, and in some cities not. The restriction is determined by the secretary of public security of the municipalities and states, together with the Electoral Justice. The decision is announced at a date close to the election. Establishments that disobey the prohibition may be closed. Voters who are caught consuming alcohol where there is a restriction can be punished with a fine or detention.


Political propaganda or campaigning on the day of the election near voting places

According to Brazilian law 9,504/97, between 8 am and 5 pm on election day, it is prohibited to disclose turnout polls. Only after 5 pm in the time zone of each locality may the votes may be divulged.

According to the Brazilian Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), individuals may use flags, brooches, and stickers to demonstrate their opinions. It is prohibited, however, to distribute political propaganda, or grooming, coercion, or demonstrations to influence the will of the voter. Political parties and candidates are prohibited from providing food and transportation to electors on election day, whether in towns and cities or the country yard locations. Those who disrespect the electoral law are subject to penalties such as detention from six months to a year. This detention can be converted into community service if the conviction is for six months or a year, and there is a fine that can go anywhere from R$5,000 to R$16,000. The legislation prohibits Electoral Justice servers, polling stations, and trustees from using clothing or objects with propaganda from parties, coalitions, or candidates. Party prosecutors are authorized only to wear badges with the name and acronym of the party or coalition, provided there is no standardization of clothing.

For the Brazilian Islanders who have transferred the location in which they vote from the state they resided in in Brazil to Boston, but no longer have the physical document and would like to obtain an electronic version of their voter’s registration card, they can do so through two apps, e-Título and Onde Votar. Both apps are available on the Apple Store or Google Play. Onde Votar doesn’t even require you to know your voter registration number; you can access the online version of your voter registration by inputting your name, your mother’s name, and your date of birth.

There are many people worried about this election. I am not concerned because there are so many competent individuals who decided to enter public life, and if half of these individuals get elected to the State Chambers or the National Congress, there will be no one able to stop the evolution of Brazil.

In times of fake news and social media, I suggest that we all research the candidates running for office that we are considering voting for; let us all do due diligence and then, in October, vote conscientiously. Let us all participate in this electoral process. There is no shortcut in building a civilization.


Brazilian music at the West Tisbury library

On Saturday, August 25, at 7 pm, the West Tisbury library will host a concert with Choro das Três, an instrumental group of three sisters and their father from Brazil. This internationally acclaimed group tours in Brazil, Mexico, France, and the U.S., and will be performing at the West Tisbury library for the fourth time.