While President Jair Bolsonaro has been suggesting that he may dispute a loss in Sunday’s election, Brazil’s courts, lawmakers and electoral officials have tried to ease worries — at home and abroad — by promising that the results will be respected and that the nation’s democracy will not be threatened by a coup.
Many of those same officials, however, admit privately that there is still the potential for violence.
Mr. Bolsonaro has built a sizable base of fervent supporters, who have become increasingly convinced that the election will be rigged against their candidate. In July, three out of four supporters of Mr. Bolsonaro told Brazil’s most prominent polling company that they trusted the voting machines only a “little” or not at all.
The New York Times interviewed more than a dozen of Mr. Bolsonaro’s supporters ahead of the vote about their views on election security. While some said they didn’t believe the vote would be manipulated, most expressed deep mistrust in the integrity of the electoral process. And should Mr. Bolsonaro lose, many said they were prepared to take to the streets, especially if the president urged them on.