The Chamber of Deputies approved, by 378 votes in favor and 80 againsts, this Thursday (9) the basic text of the bill establishing the new Electoral Code.
With 898 articles and almost 400 pages, the proposal makes a broad reformulation of all party and electoral legislation. On the last 31st, the plenary of the Chamber approved, by 322 votes to 139, the urgency regime for processing the bill.
Deputies approve the urgent request for the new Electoral Code project.
For the conclusion of the vote, the deputies they still need to analyze the so-called highlights, which are suggestions for changing the matter. Then the text will go to the Senate.
Among the changes established in the report are: the ban on the dissemination of electoral polls on the day before and on the day of the election; and the obligation of the institutes to inform the percentage of success of the surveys carried out in the last five elections.
These changes are seen by experts as a restriction of information for the voter. Analysts also claim that the ban on disseminating research by trustworthy institutes on the eve of elections it can encourage the circulation of false numbers, confusing voters.
Other changes are also the target of criticism, such as the possibility of new expenses with the party fund and devices that are considered restrictions on inspection by the Electoral Court.
The rapporteur of the proposal, deputy Margarete Coelho (PP-PI), also included a mandatory five-year quarantine for military personnel, judges, prosecutors and police officers. The change, however, will only be valid from the 2026 elections.
By the project, the polls carried out before election day can only be published until the day before the election. Today, institutes can release polling intentions until election day.
In the case of surveys carried out on election day, disclosure will only be allowed, in the case of the president of the Republic, after the scheduled time for the closing of voting throughout the national territory. For other positions, disclosure can be made from 5:00 pm, local time.
The rapporteur also maintained in the text the provision that establishes that the research institutes will have to inform the percentage of correct answers in the surveys carried out in the last five elections.
The text also allows the Public Ministry, parties and coalitions to ask the Electoral Court for access to the internal control system for publicized opinion polls so that they can check the published data.
In addition, if the Court authorizes it, the interested party may have access to the questionnaire model applied.
According to the proposal, the research institute will forward the data within two days and will allow access to the company’s headquarters or branch “for random examination of spreadsheets, maps or equivalents”.
The project lists a series of expenses that can be paid with public resources from the party fund – such as political advertisements, air transport and the purchase of movable and immovable property.
He also says that the money can be used in “other expenses of party interest, as decided by the political party.” This, according to experts, it opens the way for any type of expense to be paid with the fund – from helicopter to barbecues with draft beer.
End of the Electoral Justice System
The bill provides for the presentation of documents to be made through the Federal Revenue system, no longer using the model currently used by the Electoral Court.
Technicians claim that the change hinders the tabulations and data crossings made by the Electoral Court.
The proposal sets a ceiling of R$30,000 to fine parties for disapproving their accounts. Today, the legislation provides that the fine will be up to 20% of the amount identified as irregular, which according to specialists can reach millions in the accumulated result. In addition, the bill provides that the return of public funds used irregularly by the parties should only take place “in case of seriousness”.
It allows parties to hire, with resources from the party fund, private companies to audit accountability. This, in the view of technicians, “outsources” the work of the Electoral Court, which today monitors directly, without intermediaries.
The proposal creates a punishment for those who divulge or share facts “that they know or that are seriously out of context” with the aim of influencing the voter. The penalty, according to the proposal, is from one to four years and a fine.
The penalty can be increased, for example, if the crime is committed via the internet or if it is broadcast in real time; with use of bulk message triggers; or if it is practiced to achieve the integrity of elections to “promote disorder or encourage social denial of election results”.
The text allows the TSE to issue regulations to enforce the Electoral Code, but makes room for Congress to suspend the effectiveness of these regulations if it considers that the TSE has gone beyond its limits and attributions.
The proposal shortens the deadline of the Electoral Court for analyzing the accountability of parties from five to three years, under penalty of extinction of the process.
In addition, another device allows for new documents to be presented at any time during the process by the parties. According to technicians from the Electoral Court, the two changes facilitate the prescription of processes.
Establishes the crime of cash 2, which consists of “donating, receiving or using in electoral campaigns, own or third parties, even outside the electoral period, financial resources, in any modality, outside the hypotheses and requirements provided for by law”.
The Court, however, may not apply the penalty if the omission or irregularity in the rendering of accounts refers to amounts of lawful origin and does not exceed the legal limit defined for the donation and expenses.
In the assessment of Party Transparency, the provision that limits the role of the Electoral Court to verifying the regularity of the origin and destination of resources also makes it difficult to supervise the cash 2.
The text proposes to decriminalization irregular transport of voters. Under the bill, the infraction will be punished in the civil sphere with a fine from R$ 5 thousand to R$ 100 thousand, without prejudice to the possibility of filing a lawsuit for the practice of abuse of power.
The project changes the period of ineligibility defined by the Clean Sheet Law – the term remains eight years, but will start to run from the conviction date. and no longer after serving the sentence.
In the latest version of the report, Margarete proposed an amnesty for parties that did not meet the gender and race quotas in elections before the law was enacted. In other words, the acronyms would not be punished with fines or suspension of party and electoral funds, nor with the need to return the funds.
The report now predicts that the criteria for refinancing the sanctions will be defined in future legislation.