FGV ECMI researchers receive honorable mention from Abrapel for article on voting machine fraud

Abrapel called for papers using their data on the last elections in the country

The professors and researchers at the School of Communication, Media and Information at FGV (ECMI) Victor Piaia, Sabrina Oliveira and Denisson Santos received an honorable mention from the Brazilian Association of Electoral Researchers (Associação Brasileira de Pesquisadores Eleitorais – Abrapel) for the article ‘We Have no Proof: voting machine fraud and voting intention in Brazil’, which covered to topic of fake news in the elections. 


The study analyzed the probability of electors believing in voting machine fraud and how it affected the election results. According to the research, electors who voted for Jair Bolsonaro in 2018 were significantly more likely to believe in voting machine fraud. In addition, the researchers found that, for each elector, the higher the probability of believing in this narrative, the lower the chance of voting for Lula.


The researcher Denisson da Silva Santos talked about the process for creating the article: “The call for papers instructed us to empirically explore the data produced by the association in the last elections. To explore this data, we started with the idea of investigating the role of fake news in the electoral process and its result. We took into account the belief in voting machine fraud and estimated the probability of believing in it, then measured the relationship between this probability and the vote”, he said. 


The article represents a significant advance in the study of fake news in the electoral context, shedding light on how false information can shape a nation's destine. The study gives an example of the potential of academic research to help fight critical challenges in the age of information and provides a starting point for future studies and policies seeking to protect the integrity of the democratic process.


“This is a research agenda that we at FGV ECMI have been working on for a while. So, I and the researchers Denisson Santos and Victor Piaia saw in the Prêmio Abrapel Termômetro da Campanha 2022 an opportunity to develop this debate that encompasses electoral mistrust, disinformation, and digital mobilization processes. These topics have gained prominence in Brazil in recent years. What is new in this study is the political use of disinformation and its influence on the vote. We are pleased with the result and very happy with the award”, said Professor Sabrina Oliveira.



Any opinions expressed by Fundação Getulio Vargas’s staff members, duly identified as such, in articles and interviews published in any media, merely represent the opinions of these individuals and do not necessarily represent the institutional viewpoints or opinions of FGV. FGV Directive Nº 19 / 2018.

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