This is what democracy looks like

Brazilians lining up to vote in Brighton

Rory Nolan spotted the lines outside Brighton High School, where all day long local Brazilians have been queuing up to vote in their country's presidential election, which, oddly enough, features a once fringe right-wing candidate who vows to make his country great and who favors dictatorship. Unlike here, however, that candidate actually served in the army - and if he fails to get 50% of the vote, there'll be a runoff.





It feels like the 1920s

Nationally we're going through a period of high prosperity meanwhile events domestically and internationally are inching the world closer to major conflict(s).

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The subtext of this post is odd. Are you saying you're jealous of the Brazilian government or political system? One recent president impeached, another in jail for money laundering...

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I'm saying it's cool that people are willing to line up for a long period of time to vote - that's what democracy looks like (I mean, ideally, they'd have enough ballot boxes and staffers on hand to shorten the lines, but it happens).

The fact that there are certain similarities between the leading presidential candidate and the guy who won the electoral-college count here, well, obviously I thought that was interesting too, but that wasn't my main point.

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People overseas wait in long lines to vote and it’s a sign of a vibrant democracy, but when we hear stories of people waiting in long lines to vote in America, we hear that the long lines are a bad thing, and could lead to disenfranchisement.

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Why Brighton High School?

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Is it common for public schools here to be used for foreign elections? Does some agency from the other government make arrangements for the use? Is it voluntarily staffed? Are expenses covered by the other government?

Perhaps I've been leading a sheltered electoral life, but I've seriously never heard about another country's elections taking place on U. S. soil and using U. S. public facilities. More info from someone intimately involved would be educational, I'm sure (and I'm always willing to learn.) Thanks!


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Brazilian elections locally

We had one at Somerville High School four years ago. (I had been wondering why my usually quiet #88 bus was so packed.)

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Brazilian elections

Unlike in the United States (where the largest political party is Non-Voters), Brazilian citizens - whether at home or abroad - are required by law to vote. Also, whereas any Americans abroad wishing to vote must request an absentee ballot in advance and then mail it in, Brazil does not have an absentee voting system. All voters use the same electronic voting machines, on the same day. This means that the Brazilian government sets up dozens of polling locations all over the world, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars:

The polling stations must be set up according to Brazilian government rules. There is a set of required posters and notices, and a required staff (chief judges, check-in judges, ballot box judges, etc.) who will all be Brazilian.

This year, the Brazilian government offered five different locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for the many Brazilians resident in our area to vote: Brighton High school, Nevins Hall in Framingham, Barnstable High School, Elm Street Middle School in Nashua, and the Stoughton Council on Aging.

Boston public schools, like public schools in other towns and states, can be rented on non-school days.

BTW, Jair Bolsonaro came in first, but lacked a majority so he now has to have a runoff election with Fernando Haddad.

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It's obligatory

They are supposed to find a way.

Brazilians who don't vote can try to file for justification of their failure, up to 60 days after the election. If they don't, or the justification is rejected, they may have to pay a fine and may be restricted from certain civil rights, like not being able to take public employment, get a passport, or receive money from the government.

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Thank You, Sock_Puppet

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Answered my questions both precisely and expansively. Much appreciated.


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I wonder if they

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Have to show identification?

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most people use their cédula de identidade.

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