13 January 2023

  • This week saw rage and violence in Brazil reminiscent of the US Capitol on January 6th, 2021. Supporters of ousted former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the congressional buildings, fueled by disinformation and alleging a fraudulent electronic ballot system. Rioters were witnessed chanting “We want the source code!”, despite regular independent audits and the fact that said source code was released to political parties by the Brazilian Superior Electoral Tribunal a full year before the election.

  • In Australia, the removal of digital voting opportunities has caused problems for blind voters, who claim it is a “violation” of their rights. The change means an “equity and inclusion problem” according to Vision Australia. In 2022, the New South Wales government opted to discontinue use of i-voting through Spanish provider Scytyl, after technical glitches in the 2021 election. The Electoral Commission does not expect digital i-voting to resume until 2027, while they explore options.

  • And in Denver, Colorado, in the USA, a resident has secured 400 thousand USD to fund sidewalk improvements, making them wheelchair accessible. Local Phyllis Mack decided to participate in Denver’s first ever participatory budget after experiencing extreme difficulty getting around her neighbourhood. On January 11th, the Denver Department of Finance announced the winners of the initiative which would spend up to 2 million USD on equity focussed projects across the city.