On Sunday, October 30, presidential election results came out in Brazil. In the country, voting is mandatory—having been the case since 1985, around the time the military dictatorship ended. The election was held on a Sunday, providing everyone with the time to vote. Around 1995, voting was moved to an electronic system in an effort to speed up the counting process and reduce voter fraud.
Going into the election, some main concerns were increased food and fuel prices, economic slowdown, and environmental issues like the deforestation of the Amazon. Another worry was regarding post-election Brazil, as there was the possibility that the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro would not be re-elected. He claimed that the only way that he would not win was if there was some type of voter fraud, and his supporters were prepared to fight back if candidate Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva was to win instead. Bolsonaro is known to admire former U.S. president, Donald Trump, and the former’s ideology seems to come from other far-right U.S. politicians that supported similar voter fraud claims in the 2020 election.
Ultimately, the election resulted in a win for Lula Da Silva, with 50.9 percent of the votes. He had been president of Brazil from 2003–2011 and will begin his third term as president in 2023. In his tenure as president, Lula had helped the Brazilian economy, so he may be able to help the country out of its current state. Lula’s main challenge will be addressing all of the voters’ concerns without adding to the harm that already persists in their lives. An example of this is the issue of increased food and fuel prices, which Lula will have to try to solve without having to increase taxing for Brazilian residents. After the results were announced, Bolsonaro’s supporters took to the streets. Tens of thousands of people covered in Brazilian flags, demanded that the only way for the country to save its democracy would be for the armed forces to take control of the government. When asked about the situation, Emma Storbeck, who teaches the History of Brazil course, said, “I think there are a lot of connections between the presidential election here in 2020 and this election in Brazil. It also feels important to link Bolsonaro to a legacy of military dictatorship in Brazil. Bolsonaro talks fondly about military intervention, authoritarianism, and torture, which were all hallmarks of the twenty-one-year-long dictatorship Brazil experienced between 1964 and 1985 […] It’s scary to think about the ways that he praises those things that were so violent, so anti-democratic, and what that will mean for the future of Brazil, even given Lula’s win.” People continue to protest for Bolsonaro and argue voter fraud in the election, which cause questioning of what will happen next.