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Brazil makes History & Elects Dilma Rousseff 1st Female Prez; Long Trek for many Voting Machines

Brazil makes History & Elects Dilma Rousseff 1st Female Prez; Long Trek for many Voting Machines

We shared our predictions on last week’s podcast for the Brazil elections and…drum roll please…Dilma Rousseff is Brazil’s new president-elect after defeating her opponent Jose Serra, the former governor of São Paulo, with 56 percent of the vote to 44 percent.

“My mission is to eradicate poverty,” Dilma Rousseff said after the country’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal declared her the winner in Sunday’s runoff election, according to CNN.com.

This shows that Brazilians voted strongly in favor of continuing the economic and social policies of the popular president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, according to the NYT.

How did Brazil get their new voting machines to the most remote villages in the Amazon?

Voting wasn’t easy, but the Brazilian government ensured that voting machines were available in even the remotest parts of the country where they had to be flown in by helicopter and even carried to some remote villages. CNN reports in 60 Brazilian cities, voters used their thumbs instead of ballots on a newly launched biometric system, where voters scan their fingers to log in and vote. In indigenous areas in the Amazon, these voting machines were delivered by boats and helicopters. It costs the state of Amazonas 5 million reais. (U.S. $3 million) to place the voting machines. One of the most challenging trajectories, officials said, is the one to Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira, a densly-forested area in the Amazon.

“There, our electronic machines first leave Manaus by plane,” said Pedro Batista, TSE Director for the Amazon.

“It’s loaded onto a helicopter, and then travels by boat before being carried on some one’s back for a long walk to a remote village,” he said.

The NYT notes that, “Ms. Rousseff, who served as Mr. da Silva’s chief of staff and energy minister, joins a growing wave of democratically elected female leaders in the region and the world in the past five years, including Michelle Bachelet in Chile, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Argentina and Angela Merkel in Germany.

Rousseff , 62, is a  twice-divorced grandmother.

Sources: CNN and New York Times.

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