The perils of electoral governance: how good decisions can undermine electoral integrity in Brazil

In this paper I submit that a combination of some decisions made by different actors (the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the National Congress and the Supreme Federal Court) that individually aimed at improving electoral governance in Brazil can actually undermine trust in the Electoral Justice and in the 2020 elections. These are the decisions to: (1) abolish party coalitions for legislative elections and create a threshold for distributing party public funding; (2) implement an electronic judicial process to be used by electoral judges; and (3) reduce the time available for the Electoral Justice to process the registrations. I shall demonstrate that while (1) incentives political parties to register a record number of candidates, (2) and (3) undermine the Electoral Justice capacity of judging the applications for registration prior to the election. Thus, instead of protecting and promoting electoral integrity, these factors may threaten democracy and even trigger political disruption.