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Brazilian Voters Abroad Rise by 41%

07/04/2018 - 11h39

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GÉSSICA BRANDINO
SÃO PAULO

Eliane Bacelo, 55, has not voted for 28 years, since she emigrated with her family to the United States. She says she did not think she had the right to have an opinion, because she lived in another country. This year, concerned about what she calls chaos in Brazil, she changed her mind. She put her voter ID, as well as her husband's, in order.

The couple is part of 500,729 Brazilian voters abroad able to vote in the presidential elections this year, according to data from the voters' registry office of the TRE-DF (Regional Electoral Court) abroad, responsible for services to voters domiciled outside the country.

The number is similar to that of voters in São José dos Campos, in the countryside of São Paulo, which amounts to about 509,000 voters. Compared to 2014, when there were 354,184 voters outside the country, the number went up by 41%.

Juliana Bandeira, head of the registry office, reports that in 2018 alone, more than 77,000 requests have been processed for voters' registration or transfer through the system 'Título Net Exterior'.

According to the professor of foreign affairs at UERJ, Maurício Santoro, a significant growth in the number of voters outside the country can be a result of the increase of Brazilians abroad and their concern with the country's current scenario.

In Elaine's case, she says what drove her was fear of seeing Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) elected president. "He's a radical, he has no plan and we can't take that risk," she says.

According to Santoro, this portion of voters is not under the radar of candidates.

Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA

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