Come October Brazilians Living Overseas Must Vote in Presidential Election

There are 86,000 Brazilians residing outside Brazil who will be voting in the October presidential elections this year at Brazilian consular offices or embassies around the world.

That number is up from 70,000 who registered for the 2002 elections. The biggest group, 32,000 strong is located in the United States.

Others reside in areas of conflict, such as 800 Brazilians who live in the Palestinian territories, and may have difficulties voting.

Brazilians living outside Brazil can vote only in national elections for president. They do not vote in elections that are local – for senators, governor or representatives.

According to João Fischer Dias, a judge who presides over an Electoral Zone board for Brazilians living abroad, voting is a right that continues to exist no matter where the citizen is and provides an opportunity for people "to manifest nationality."

Dias points out that in Brazil voting is mandatory, as well as a right, so people living abroad also have an obligation to vote.

Brazilians living outside the country who do not vote are supposed to "justify" not voting at a consular office, an embassy (abroad) or an election zone board when they return to Brazil.

Under Brazilian legislation, a Brazilian living abroad who does not vote or "justify" his vote can have future problems with getting a passport.




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