Smartmatic: Miami Herald, 2006 Link to Hugo Chavez

Miami Herald - Mar. 27, 2006:  Forget Dubai - Worry About Smartmatic Instead 

Permalink - https://bit.ly/3nNk9Zy



Miami Herald


Mar. 27, 2006  (Archive.org)


Forget Dubai -- worry about Smartmatic instead





The greater threat to our nation's security comes not from Dubai and its pro-Western government, but from Venezuela, where software engineers with links to the leftist, anti-American regime of Hugo Chávez are programming electronic voting machines that will soon power U.S. elections.


Congress spent two weeks overreacting to news that Dubai Ports World would operate several American ports, including Miami's, but a better target for their hysteria would be the acquisition by Smartmatic International of California-based Sequoia Voting Systems, whose machines serve millions of U.S. voters. That Smartmatic -- which has been accused by Venezuela's opposition of helping Chávez rig elections in his favor -- now controls a major U.S. e-voting firm should give pause to anybody who thinks that replacing our antiquated butterfly ballots and hanging chads will restore Americans' faith in our electoral process.


Consider the lack of confidence Venezuelans have in their voting system. Anti-Chávez groups have such little faith in Smartmatic's machines that they refuse to run candidates in elections anymore as reports surface of fraud and irregularities from Chávez's 2004 victory in a recall referendum. Yet somehow Smartmatic International and its Venezuelan owners were able to purchase Sequoia last year without the deal receiving any scrutiny from federal regulators -- including the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), which is tasked with determining whether foreign takeovers pose security risks.


CFIUS generally investigates such transactions only when the parties voluntarily submit themselves to review -- which Smartmatic did not do. But it retains the authority to initiate an investigation when it suspects a takeover compromises national security.


Smartmatic has a brief but controversial history. The company was started in Caracas during the late 1990s by engineers Antonio Mugica and Alfredo Anzola. They worked out of downtown Caracas providing small-scale technology services to Latin American banks. Despite having no election experience, the tiny company rocketed from obscurity in 2004 after it was awarded a $100 million contract by the Chávez-dominated National Electoral Council to replace Venezuela's electronic voting machines for the recall vote.


When the council announced the deal, it disingenuously described Smartmatic as a Florida company, though Smartmatic's main operations were in Caracas and the firm had incorporated only a small office in Boca Raton. It then emerged that Smartmatic's ''partner'' in the deal, Bizta Corp., also directed by Anzola and Mugica, was partly owned by the Venezuelan government through a series of intermediary shell corporations. Venezuela initially denied its investment but eventually sold its stake.


When the vote finally came, exit polls by New York's Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates showed Chávez had been defeated 59 to 41 percent; however, when official tallies were announced, the numbers flipped to 58-42 in favor of Chávez. Venezuela's electoral council briefly posted machine-by-machine tallies on the Internet but removed them as mathematicians from MIT, Harvard and other universities began questioning suspicious patterns in the results.


Flush with cash from its Venezuelan adventures, Smartmatic International incorporated in Delaware last year and purchased Sequoia, announcing the deal as a merger between two U.S. companies.


Smartmatic says the recall vote was clean and that it is independent of the Chávez government. Responding to my inquiries, Smartmatic-Sequoias sent a written statement: ``Sequoia's products consist only of voting devices and systems, all of which must be federally and state tested and certified prior to use in an election. As Sequoia's products do not have military, defense or national security applications, they do not fall within the parameters of the matters governed by CFIUS.''


In fact, Smartmatic International is owned by a Netherlands corporation, which is in turn owned by a Curacao corporation, which is in turn held by a number of Curacao trusts controlled by proxy holders who represent unnamed investors, almost certainly among them Venezuelans Mugica and Anzola and possibly others.


Why Smartmatic has chosen yet again to abuse the corporate form apparently to conceal the nationality and identity of its true owners is a question that should worry anyone who votes using one of its machines. Congress panicked upon hearing that our ports would be run by an American ally, Dubai, but never asked whether America's actual enemies in Venezuela have been able to acquire influence in our electoral process.


Richard Brand is a second-year law student at New York University and a former staff writer for The Miami Herald.


Dominion Exec VP Lets It Slip: Software Switched Votes From One Candidate to Another (Geller Report)


Here is PROOF Dominion has done it and can do it: in a Palm Beach Post news article, Waldeep admits and explains in simple terms how the votes were changed during transmission from precinct to central, switching votes from one mayoral candidate to the other.


In the software business, once the source code exists, like yeast for bakery bread or wine vineyards, it is always there and can be expanded or deployed when needed. It never disappears.


Waldeep Singh is originally from Sequoia, CA. His name and signature are on all the contracts Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Michigan…. Dominion Voting Systems (DVS) has the source code software to do this. The shady David Orr in Chicago (see more on Orr below) deal was the first DVS 5.5 purchase. And the software was developed and designed for Cook County, and the software was FIRST developed and designed for Cook County/Chicago.

Was this practice before they got to the big leagues, not thinking the little old lady volunteers would actually count the ballots in Palm Beach?


It appears all roads lead back to Chicago – the first domino to fall. The voting system ES&S, based in Nebraska with Thomas Dee of Vedder Price, filed a Federal Complaint that Cook County/Chicago chose an uncertified new system now known as the infamous Dominion 5.5. Although Cook announced an RFP period March – July 7 2017, I have obtained documentation that indicates:

  • While ES&S was properly protesting (three times) the validity and process Cook County/David Orr was still proceeding
  • there was no comparative expert RFP bidders evaluation of the multiple prominent bidders ES&S, Hart etc.,
  • Dominion was chosen July 7, 2017, which was the “deadline” for all to submit RFPs, and appears DVS already progressing prior to deadline
  • Cook County chose DVS, an uncertified vendor, as ES&S alleges in their Complaint.  The timeline appears on EAC data site Dominion had a very difficult time with their new Democracy 5.5 system finally getting EAC conformance (contingent) 10/2018
  • David Orr/Cook County entered into a $31 million 10-year contract when it appears “if the Board determines the proposed system is safe, accurate and efficient, it will approve use …on an interim basis not to exceed to two years,” after which applicant/Dominion can apply for final approval. An add-on amendment owner change reveals that Staple Street Capital/hedge fund based in New York acquired this.
  • Due to the massive mail-in ballot issue, there was an amendment for equipment added on to contract – at this point Dominion did notate as a United States Registered Manufacturer, they were acquired by Staple Street. This brow-raising update should have been reviewed by a State Board and Federal Elections Committee.
  • The VSTL Pro VV report indicated all the resolutions needed for Dominion to be approved (finally), and recommended approval based on Dominion attesting they would fix the issues.
  • The State of Texas sternly rejected the Dominion 5.5 system 02/2019 and again 11/2019, clearly stating in reports the many issues – which were the same or more than the VSTL found problematic – confirming the problems were not corrected.
Dominion with their “We got Chicago!” bragging rights went to Georgia, Maricopa, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Michigan – who now have the Dominion 5.5 program. This is not coincidence. Notably, Waldeep Singh did admit in a small Palm Beach County FL election that the software switched votes from one candidate to anotherthe hand recount changed the winner, as linked above in the Palm Beach Post newspaper report. It was standard audit so they were surprised that DVS/Sequoia software source still exists.