In Brazil, participation in the electoral process is mandatory for most people. Citizens aged 18 to 70 must vote in elections or they may suffer sanctions for being in violation of electoral law. Because citizens are required to vote at their assigned polling station, it is possible to request a waiver which is to be presented at the nearest polling station. For citizens traveling abroad, there is a 30-day grace period to present an excuse to any polling station upon their .
Brazilians who do not vote in a given election and do not subsequently receive an excuse from an electoral judge in 60 days receive a fine. However, habitual offenders face stiffer penalties. Any citizen under obligation to vote who fails to participate in three consecutive elections has a 6-month grace period to request an excuse from the Regional Elections Court. If an excuse is not granted, the citizen’s voter registration will be canceled. Citizens with canceled registration cannot hold elected office or hold employment in government at any level. There are additional sanctions, including the inability to be issued identification or a passport.
Ricardo Tosto is the founder of one of Brazil’s premier law firms, Ricardo Tosto& Associates. Ricardo Tosto is active as a litigator in several areas of the law, including elections and constitutional law. A graduate of the McKenzie Presbyterian University, he also has a host of publications to his name and is a member of a number of international legal organizations.
In addition to his legal career, Ricardo Tosto is highly regarded as a historical writer. He is a strong believer in lifelong learning and actively mentors young lawyers as they begin their careers. Ricardo Tosto has been in private practice for more than twenty years and has built one of Sao Paulo’s most respected law firms.