There are currently 93 electoral zones abroad, some of them comprising more than one country. The number of polling places for this year’s election has not yet been determined, but the aim of the department in charge of foreign electoral zones is to establish the largest possible number of polling places.
The problem is organizing these voting sites, since certain prerequisites must be met, such as the presence of a Brazilian consular representative in the region and a minimum of 30 voters. In some areas political issues can complicate the plans of the department even more.
In the West Bank, for example, 800 Brazilian citizens are eligible to vote in this year’s election. In the strife-torn area, where Jews and Palestinians have been fighting for years, the Brazilians requested that polling places be set up in the city of Ramallah and that the information on their voting cards be altered. On the line where "electoral zone" appears, they asked for "Israel" to be substituted by "Occupied Palestinian Territories."
Their justifications: difficulties in crossing the borders that separate Palestinian and Israeli zones and fears of being victims of incidents on election day.
"We have already decided in favor of the change and passed our decision along to the Regional Electoral Court of the Federal District (TRE/DF) and the Federal Elections Board (TSE). We shall see whether the change is still possible," says the head of the department in charge of foreign electoral zones, judge João Luis Fischer Dias.
Brazilians who vote abroad are allowed to cast ballots only for president, not for governors, mayors, or federal, state, or municipal legislators.