Brazil elects on the national level a head of state—the president—and a legislature. The president is elected to a four-year term by absolute majority vote through a two-round system. The National Congress (''Congresso Nacional'') has two chambers. The Chamber of Deputies (''Câmara dos Deputados'') has 513 members, elected to a four-year term by proportional representation. The Federal Senate (''Senado Federal'') has 81 members, elected to an eight-year term, with elections every four years for alternatively one-third and two-thirds of the seats. Brazil has a multi-party system, with such numerous parties that often no one party has a chance of gaining power alone, and so they must work with each other to form coalition governments.




Electoral systems

Deputies are elected to the Chamber of Deputies using a form of party-list proportional representation known as the "open list." Senators are elected to the Federal Senate with a plurality of the vote in a first-past-the-post system, which is not proportional. Three senators are elected for each state and for the Federal District. In municipal governments, the city council is elected using an open list proportional representation system. Seats are allocated using a version of the D'Hondt method where only parties who receive at least V/n votes (where V is the total number of votes cast and n is the total number of seats to be filled) may win seats in the legislature. A presidential candidate in Brazil needs to gain fifty per cent plus one of votes to be named as winner. Voting in Brazil is compulsory for all literate citizens over 18 and under 70, and optional for citizens who are aged 16 and 17, older than 70 or illiterate. Brazil introduced compulsory voting into its Electoral Code in 1932 and lowered the voting age from 18 to 16 in the 1988 constitution. The 1988 constitution also granted voluntary suffrage to the illiterate citizens of Brazil.

Brazilian voting machines

2018 general election

Presidential election

Parliamentary election

Election results 1982–2018

Brazilian legislative elections (Chamber of Deputies), 1982–2018 Source



Brazil has held three national referendums in its history. In the first, held on January 6, 1963, the people voted for the re-establishment of the presidential system of government (82% of valid ballots), which had been modified by a constitutional amendment in 1961. A second referendum, as ordered by the Federal Constitution of 1988, was held on April 21, 1993, when the voters voted for a republican form of government and reaffirmed the presidential system. A third national referendum, on the Referendum concerning the prohibition of the sale of firearms and ammunition|prohibition of the commerce of personal firearms and ammunition, was held on October 23, 2005. The ban proposal was rejected by 64% of the electorate.

See also

* Electoral calendar * Electoral system * List of political parties in Brazil * List of senators in Brazil


External links

Adam Carr's Election Archive
(Portuguese) Courtesy of the Brazilian Superior Electoral Court website. (Java required)
Brief history of electronic voting in BrazilBrazil: The Perfect Electoral Crime (II)
(Security analysis of the Brazilian voting machines by James Burk, Oct. 21, 2006)

{{DEFAULTSORT:Elections In Brazil Category:Government of Brazil