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TSE details the difference between majority vote and proportional vote

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On October 2, millions of Brazilians will go to the polls to choose their representatives at the state and federal levels. There will be five votes: for state/district deputy, federal deputy, senator, governor and president of the Republic. The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) highlights that, although the way to vote is the same, the way to calculate the vote is different. This is because there are two different systems, the majority and the proportional.

In the majority system, the count is simple: whoever has the most votes wins. Through this system, governors, senators and the president of the Republic will be elected. For the positions of governor and president, the candidate will only be elected in the first round, ending the contest, if he has more votes than the sum of all the candidates (50% + 1 valid votes).

In the proportional system, valid for the positions of federal, state and district deputy, it may be that a person who has more votes is not necessarily elected. In this system, the voter’s vote goes to the party, since the proposal is that the party has more strength than the candidate himself. Here, the mandate belongs to the party.

And why, then, does each candidate have a number and can receive votes individually? This happens because those who occupy the seats that the party won are exactly the candidates with the most votes within that party. But the number of seats allocated to each candidate in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Legislative Houses will be defined by the number of total votes received by the party. That is, the number of seats in the party will be proportional to the number of votes it has received.

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The proportional system allows voters to vote only for the legend, without allocating their vote to any specific candidate. In the positions of state/district and federal deputy, he can vote in this way by typing in the ballot box only the first two numbers – referring to the party – and confirming the green button. Thus, the vote will be computed to the party and included in the account that will elect the most voted candidates of that party.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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