CONFLICTING REPORTS AS TO WHETHER OR NOT MACHINES SCHEDULED FOR USE IN 2016
by Sharon Rondeau
(Oct. 27, 2016) — A petition at whitehouse.gov asking Congress to convene an “emergency session” to vote on replacing Smartmatic voting machines in the 16 states which reportedly use them has garnered more than the 100,000 signatures, the number required for the White House to provide a response.
Under the banner of “We the People,” each petition meeting the signature threshold and dealing with an issue associated with the federal government would hypothetically meet the requirements for a response. The minimum age for “We the People” petition signers and account-holders is 13.
The petition was launched on October 21, apparently after it became public through WikiLeaks or other means that Smartmatic voting machines were used in the 2004 Venezuela election, which many believed was “rigged.”
On November 5, 2006, the website VenezuelanAnalysis.com reported:
…probably the biggest news last week regarding electronic voting machines, for US and Venezuelan voters, is the U.S. government’s current investigation of Smartmatic and rumors that the voting machine manufacturer may potentially have links to the Venezuelan government. Smartmatic is the privately owned Venezuelan parent company of Sequoia Voter Systems, one of the oldest and top voting machine manufacturers in the United States. Smartmatic itself provided the machines for the 2004 Venezuelan Referendum, and is in charge of providing the voting machines for the Venezuelan Presidential elections, which are set for December 3.
The investigation taking place in the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) stems from allegations that the Venezuelan government once held stake in a software company partially owned by two of the owners of Smartmatic. Rumors take the claims even further, attempting to prove that Smartmatic machines used in the 2004 Referendum against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez were rigged, thus leading to the President’s “illegitimate” win with 59% of the vote.
There is an understandable growing consensus of citizens on both the right and the left, in the United States and in Venezuela, who believe that electronic voting machines are a bad idea. With “error-prone” and “tamper-friendly” machines, a laundry list of malfunctions, and with close to 90% of the United States now voting on electronic machines, high-profile people such as Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich have even made the call to go back to paper ballots.
According to a WikiLeaks document appearing under the heading, “Public Library of U.S. Diplomacy:”
1. (C) The Venezuelan-owned Smartmatic Corporation is a riddle both in ownership and operation, complicated by the fact that its machines have overseen several landslide (and contested) victories by President Hugo Chavez and his supporters. The electronic voting company went from a small technology startup to a market player in just a few years, catapulted by its participation in the August 2004 recall referendum. Smartmatic has claimed to be of U.S. origin, but its true owners — probably elite Venezuelans of several political strains — remain hidden behind a web of holding companies in the Netherlands and Barbados. The Smartmatic machines used in Venezuela are widely suspected of, though never proven conclusively to be, susceptible to fraud. The company is thought to be backing out of Venezuelan electoral events, focusing now on other parts of world, including the United States via its subsidiary, Sequoia. End Summary.
Smartmatic claims that “transparency is at the core of what we do.” “We’re not an elections company. We’re the elections company,” its website states. Its chairman, Mark Malloch-Brown, is a declared participant in “international affairs,” including in the United Nations while Kofi Annan was Secretary-General.
Further, the company reports that it “has no ties to political parties or groups in any country and abides by a stringent code of ethics that forbids the company to ever donate to any political campaigns of any kind.”
In 2009, Barack Hussein Obama promised “the most transparent government in U.S. history.”
On March 20, 2016, Breitbart reported that Smartmatic machines were used by Utah Republican presidential primary voters.
On Wednesday, NPR reported that “Some Machines Are Flipping Votes, But That Doesn’t Mean They’re Rigged.”
Shedding further light on Smartmatic’s ownership and the U.S. states which it said utilize the machines, World Tribune reported on Thursday:
A company with direct ties to George Soros is providing voting machines to 16 states, including key swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania.
The balloting equipment tied to Soros comes from UK-based Smartmatic, whose chairman Mark Malloch-Brown is a former UN official and sits on the board of Soros’s Open Society Foundations.
Smartmatic has a poor track record of providing free and fair elections.
Soros’s website confirms that he exercises control over the Open Society Foundations. He opposes the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that a portion of the Voting Rights Act, passed in the 1960s to combat racial discrimination against voters, is no longer applicable.
World Tribune reports the states with Smartmatic voting machines to be “Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington D.C., Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.”
While affirming Breitbart’s reporting that Smartmatic equipment was used in the Utah primaries this year, the website ProPublica provided a contrary report stating that “After the flurry of rumors, the voting machine company, Smartmatic, put up a notice saying, ‘George Soros does not have and has never had any ownership stake in Smartmatic’ and the company ‘will not be deploying its technology in any U.S. county for the upcoming 2016 U.S. Presidential elections.’”
According to Politico in January, Soros donated a total of $8 million to “pro-Clinton groups.”
ProPublica states, however, that Malloch-Brown is a board member of George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, “a grantmaking organization founded and funded by Soros” which supports ProPublica. The website also bears the logos of Univision and USA Today, both of which have proven themselves left-leaning publications.
As The Daily Caller reported, Congress does not have purview over how individual states conduct their elections, although in the past, the U.S. Department of Justice has dispatched “election observers” to ensure that provisions of the Voting Rights Act were upheld in states identified by the now-partially-defunct law.
In recent years, many Americans have questioned the integrity of U.S. elections, with one computer programmer testifying in 2010 that the results of a close election could be easily manipulated and changed.
George Soros is revealed in a number of WikiLeaks emails to have wielded strong influence over the Clinton campaign’s advertising and messaging.
Soros reportedly funded the protests in Ferguson, MO following the killing of a black man in August 2014 by a white police officer.
Ballotpedia has a textual and visual summary of voting equipment used by each of the 50 states, including optical scanners, Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Systems, punch-card voting and “ballot-marking devices and systems.”
Last year, Arizona Capitol Times reported that Arizona would be updating its voting machines but did not specifically say which brand would be purchased, tested and placed into use.
Among possible problems with the machines themselves, the possibility of an outside entity “hacking” into voting machines has been raised by NJTV News, a New Jersey-based publication.
Voters concerned about the types of equipment to be used in their precincts and states on November 8 can contact their Secretary of State’s office.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.