PSDB suspends voting on previews after application issues

Former mayor of Manaus (AM) Arthur Virgílio and governors Eduardo Leite (RS) and João Doria (SP), pre-candidates for the presidency by the PSDB (Edit: Leonardo Albertino/InfoMoney)

SAO PAULO – The PSDB decided, this Sunday (21), to suspend the caucuses that will define who should be the party’s presidential candidate in the October 2022 election, after problems presented throughout the day by the voting application for affiliates . Until the closing of this report, no date had been set for the resumption of voting.

The dispute for the nomination of the party in the dispute is essentially between the governors of São Paulo, João Doria, and from Rio Grande do Sul, Eduardo Leite. The former mayor of Manaus (AM) Arthur Virgil he also participates, but runs outside in the election.

Voting began at 7:00 am (GMT) this Sunday and, initially, it was scheduled to end at 3:00 pm. However, the various records of failures in the application made the party decide to extend the deadline until 18:00.

The application requires double authentication, with a facial recognition device – precisely the stage where the problem was pointed out by the affiliates – and verification via SMS. The tool was developed by the Support Foundation for the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Leite’s electoral cradle, which from the beginning provoked Doria’s resistance.

In a note, the acronym informed that “the voting process in application is paused due to technical infrastructure issues, which did not support the demand of the voters of the previews”. “The votes registered this Sunday are preserved and the PSDB is defining, together with the candidates, when the process will be resumed”, says the text.

“The PSDB will set a new date for reopening the voting process so that all affiliates who were unable to vote this Sunday can, with peace of mind and security, register their vote and conclude the choice of our candidate for the 2022 presidential elections”, he continues.

“Votes received both by the application and through electronic voting machines this Sunday will be totaled at the end of the voting process. System integrity and security are fully preserved. All votes registered since the opening of voting this Sunday are valid and will be counted”, he concludes.

In the tucanas’ caucuses, the electorate is divided into four groups, each with a unitary weight of 25% of the total valid votes. Are they:

I) Affiliated to the party;

II) Mayors and Deputy Mayors;

III) Councilors, state and district deputies;

IV) Governors, vice-governors, senators, federal deputies, former presidents and the current chairman of the party’s National Executive Committee.

In the case of groups I, II and IV, the votes attributed to each candidate are divided by the total number of voters for each, and the results are multiplied by 0.25.

Group III is divided into two subgroups, with equal weight. In this case, the votes attributed to each candidate are divided by the total number of voters in each subdivision and then multiplied by 0.125. At the end, the sum of the two categories is made.

The candidate who obtains the absolute majority of the valid votes is considered chosen as the PSDB representative in the 2022 election, considering the result of the sum of the votes obtained in each group with the due weights.

If no candidate achieves an absolute majority of votes, the two best positioned will compete in the second round, being chosen the most voted, following the same criteria described.

According to the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), the PSDB has 1,354,901 members. Of this group, only 44,700 registered to vote in the caucuses (ie 3.30%).

Governors, mayors, vices, senators, federal deputies, state deputies, the national president and former party presidents voted in person at the Ulysses Guimarães Convention Center in Brasília. The expectation of the acronym was that 700 representatives would vote in person this Sunday.

Councilors and affiliates voted for the “PSDB Previous” application. Members of the special group who were unable to participate in the event in the federal capital could also make use of the device. The vote is secret.

Behind the scenes, there is an assessment that Eduardo Leite has an advantage among the members of group IV, the party’s summit. Doria, on the other hand, has greater support among affiliates in general, which make up group I, with 62% of affiliates eligible to vote in São Paulo.

The postponement of voting brings more uncertainties to the tucano process, which was already being contested by candidates – during the dispute, Doria and Leite’s campaigns warned of weaknesses in the application. Unforeseen events add risks of future judicialization by defeated pre-candidates and could make the party even more divided for the 2022 elections. The environment favors questions about the legitimacy of the process by those who lose the dispute.

Among the options currently being discussed by directors of the acronym are the slicing of votes not yet carried out during the next week or the postponement of the entire process, to be carried out in other ways, with face-to-face voting only.

In a statement, the Support Foundation of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (FAURGS), responsible for developing the application, said that it is investigating the possible causes of the “instability” found. “Since the first reports were made available, the institution’s technicians have made efforts to discover the cause of the system’s slowness”, he says.

“Contrary to what was speculated, the problems have nothing to do with purchasing licenses to support the facial recognition of affiliates. So much so that the same number of certificates allowed the successful registration of more than 44 thousand voters”, the text continues.

“The votes so far registered will not be lost, and the security of the system has not been affected. The entire process is being monitored by technicians representing the three registered plates, ensuring smoothness and transparency”, he concludes.

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