What is all the talk about voting machines?

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What is all the talk about voting machines? The link between Dominion, Smartmatic and a company called Sequoia.

“It’s really an insidious, corrupt system and I can’t tell you how livid I am at our government for not paying attention to complaints, even brought by Democrats… It was designed to rig elections,”” Trump lawyer, Sidney Powell stated on  Sunday Morning Futures 

Despite Trump and his team’s adamant belief that major voting irregularities have occurred, the media and some politicians have spent the last couple of weeks downplaying the seriousness of admitted issues, including voting machine “glitches”.

The issues revolve around one company in particular, Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion is one of the three major companies providing voting systems and support to the U.S. elections. The other two are Election Systems & Software (ES&S) of Omaha and Hart InterCivic of Austin.

DOMINION VOTING SYSTEMS, is a Canadian company headquartered in Toronto. One of the most controversial aspects of Dominion is its subsidiary SEQUOIA, an old company originating in California, but which appears to have been completely absorbed by a company plagued by trouble called SMARTMATIC, a subsidiary of SGO Corporation Limited. Smartmatic, now headquartered in London, is still being used by counties such as Los Angeles for their voting systems. If Dominion is using Sequoia systems, it is, in essence, using Smartmatic created systems.

Sequoia Voting Systems was a California-based company involved in voting systems since the 1970s and grew to one of the largest providers of electronic voting systems in the U.S. In 2005, Sequoia was acquired by Smartmatic (a subsidiary of SGO) but they were forced to sell Sequoia to US Citizens by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which had been investigating whether there were any ties between Sequoia, Smartmatic, and the government of Venezuela. (Smartmatic was created in Venezuela) Smartmatic was ordered to sell Sequoia, which it did, to its Sequoia managers having U.S. citizenship.

The CEO and President of Sequoia, Jack Blaine, was a former Smartmatic executive. During a conference call with company employees, Blaine admitted that Sequoia did not control the intellectual property of some of its products, which belonged to Smartmatic. This making it appear the sale was for show and that Smartmatic still called the shots. This history tells us that Dominion/Sequoia/Smartmatic are all very closely interwoven.

Smartmatic is a multinational company headquartered in London that specializes in building and implementing electronic voting systems. The company was started by three Venezuelan engineers who began collaborating on a new voting system while working at Panagroup Corp. in Caracas, Venezuela. Smartmatic was officially incorporated on 11 April 2000 in Delaware. Smartmatic has variously claimed to be Dutch, US, and British.

In 2018 Smartmatic was hired by Los Angeles county to manufacture 31,100 ballot marking devices, develop the backend software to manage the devices, and provide systems integration services for the upcoming 2020 election. LA County also counted on Smartmatic to set up all polling stations and ensure they are were up and running for the election.

Using the Smartmatic system, voters were able to cast their ballot at any poll center among the nearly 791 sites across the county. Popular venues, such as the Hollywood Bowl, Dodger Stadium, and the STAPLES Center served as polling centers.

Voters also had the option to pre-mark their selections using an Interactive Sample Ballot (ISB) on their computer or mobile device for later casting at a polling center.

DOMINION ISSUES

The Dominion Voting Systems was rejected three times by data communications experts from the Texas Secretary of State and Attorney General’s Office for failing to meet basic security standards.

Dominion was used in Georgia and Michigan, where a “glitch” reversed thousands of votes for Republican President Donald Trump to Democrat Joe Biden. Voting officials in Michigan confirmed the software glitch in Antrim County, sparking a manual recount, extended voting hours and delayed results.

In a statement, state officials said the error was an “isolated user error” where software on the machines was not updated properly

In Georgia, early morning voting on Election Day was halted temporarily in Morgan and Spalding counties when Dominion machines were involved in a problem involving electronic poll books made by a subcontractor. Technicians resolved the issue, and Trump easily carried both counties.

SEQUOIA ISSUES

Sequoia has been riddled with issues from the 2000s.

In 2001 Bizjournal reported that Sequoia regional sales manager, Philip Foster was indicted for conspiracy to commit money laundering and malfeasance. According to court documents, he participated in kickbacks to a Louisiana election official, who oversaw the purchase of Sequoia equipment there. Foster was indicted for conspiracy to commit money laundering and malfeasance. According to court documents, he participated in kickbacks to a Louisiana election official, who oversaw the purchase of Sequoia equipment there and is now serving a prison term. Foster’s lawyer denies the charges.

According to a 2012 story in the Palm Beach Sun Sentinel , the Sequoia vote counting software was set up in a way that didn’t correspond to the Wellington County ballot distributed to voters. As a result, votes meant for one candidate were credited to a different candidate. “Election-night totals on Wellington’s three races were shifted in a circle — with village council Seat 4 votes going to the mayor’s race, votes for mayor going to council Seat 1, and votes for Seat 1 going to Seat 4,” the Sentinel story said.

When asked about the Florida election fiasco then-Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson defended the decision to use Sequoia. “You can always play Monday morning quarterback. That doesn’t win any games,” he said. “Sequoia did not have any more marks against it than other equipment that was in the market at that time.” People should not be deterred from voting, he added. “If you cast your vote, there’s a high probability that it will count,” he said. “If you do not, you know definitely it will not count.” Asked if he thinks every vote is counted every time, Anderson responded: “It’s not a perfect world.”

Considering the amount of published information on Sequoia malfeasance and malfunction it’s no wonder Sidney Powell is livid. The accounts seem endless.

SMARTMATIC ISSUES

Voters in the Republic of the Philippines are demanding the current Smartmatic system be changed to an election system that is “more accurate, transparent and Filipino-made” for the upcoming May 2022 national and local polls

Litigation in the Philippines over Smartmatic “glitches” allege they impacted the 2010 and 2013 mid-term elections, raising questions of cheating and fraud. An independent review of the source codes used in the machines found multiple problems. One reviewer of the 2010 election noted “The software inventory provided by Smartmatic is inadequate. One software “contains a solicitation for beer” for the software’s creators, which brings into question the software credibility.” ABS-CBN reported in 2010.

Other problems in the Philippines include the 2016 polls when Smartmatic changed the transparency server script on the evening of election day, even though it was not given authorization to do so by the Election Commission, as required by Filipino law.

Another example was the 7-hour delay in the transmission of votes into the transparency server during the 2019 polls. Critics say the glitch put into question the reliability of the entire election process.

Smartmatic has been criticized numerous times in the past by the US media as well. The Wall Street Journal wrote that “Smartmatic scrapped a simple corporate structure” of being based in Boca Raton “for a far more complex arrangement” of being located in multiple locations following the Sequoia incident. Davis, Bob (22 December 2006). “Politics & Economics: Smartmatic to Shed U.S. Unit, End Probe into Venezuelan Links”. 

Though Smartmatic has made differing statements saying that they were either American or Dutch based, the United States Department of State stated that its Venezuelan owners “remain hidden behind a web of holding companies in the Netherlands and Barbados”. Tiglao, Rigoberto D. (1 December 2015). “US Caracas Embassy: ‘Smartmatic is a riddle'”The Manila Times. Archived from the original on 22 May 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2017.

 The New York Times states that “the role of the young Venezuelan engineers who founded Smartmatic has become less visible” and that its organization is “an elaborate web of offshore companies and foreign trusts”  New York Times, 29 October 2006, U.S. Investigates Voting Machines’ Venezuela Ties

while BBC News states that though Smartmatic says the company was founded in the United States, “its roots are firmly anchored in (Venezuela)”. Wallace, Arturo (2 August 2017). “De dónde surgió y qué hace Smartmatic, la empresa de votación electrónica que denunció la “manipulación” de la elección de la Constituyente en Venezuela”BBC Mundo. Retrieved 8 August 2017. 

Multiple sources simply state that Smartmatic is a Venezuelan company. – Tiglao, Rigoberto D. (1 December 2015). “US Caracas Embassy: ‘Smartmatic is a riddle'”The Manila Times. Retrieved 1 July 2017.  Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), One Year After Dubai Ports World: Congressional Hearing. Washington, D.C.: Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. 7 February 2007. p. 7. ISBN 978-1422320471

And finally, the company’s reported globalist ties have caused questions about its involvement in the U.S. electoral process.  Smartmatic’s chairman, a member of the British House of Lords, Mark Malloch Brown, is a former vice-chairman of George Soros’ Investment Funds, former vice-president at the World Bank, lead international partner at Sawyer Miller, a political consulting firm, and former vice-chair of the World Economic Forum who “remains deeply involved in international affairs.”

 In 2019, the AP found that these companies “had long skimped on security in favor of convenience and operated under a shroud of financial and operational secrecy despite their critical role in elections.”

Outdated Software

In a 2019 AP survey of the election software being used by all 50 states, the District of Columbia and territories, about 10,000 jurisdictions nationwide were using Windows 7 or older operating system to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts. After Jan. 14, 2020 Microsoft stopped providing technical support and producing “patches” to fix software vulnerabilities, making Windows 7 easy to hack unless they paid a fee to receive security updates through 2023.

According to its assessment, multiple states were affected by the end of Windows 7 support, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, many counties in Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.