Brazil Election: Abstention in First Round of Elections, exceeds 30% in Four Capitals

Brazil Election: Abstention in First Round of Elections, exceeds 30% in Four Capitals

The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) announced,

still on Sunday night (15), that 23.14% of voters did not attend the polls in the first round of the 2020 elections. The index is higher than that registered in the last municipal elections – in 2016, the abstention rate was 17.58% in the first round; in 2012, 16.41% – regarding the last presidential election, in which 20.19% of the electorate did not vote.

The increase in the abstention rate was already expected , since, in addition to the rate already being on the rise, 2020 had two exceptional factors: the pandemic of the new coronavirus and the possibility of justifying voting by cell phone . When commenting on the index, the president of the TSE, minister Luís Roberto Barroso, evaluated that the number was “extraordinary”. “In the last elections [the abstention] was more than 20% and in this election, 23%, in the middle of a pandemic. Another factor that we need to celebrate”, said Barroso still on Sunday (15).

When we look only at the capitals, however, four cities had an abstention rate of more than 30%, according to TSE data: Porto Alegre (33.08%), Rio de Janeiro (32.79%), Goiânia (30 , 72%) and Curitiba (30.18%). In São Paulo, the share of voters who decided not to vote in 2020 reached 29.3%.

Compared to 2016, Florianópolis was the capital where the abstention rate grew the most in percentage points: in the previous election, 12.25% of the electorate did not attend the first round; in 2020, it was 28.65%. In Vitória, the index jumped from 10.76% to 25.45%.