There are many different voting software companies used throughout the United States of America. I went into detail on Dominion and KnowInk in a recent article, and in this article I will be breaking down some of Smartmatic’s history, scandals they’ve had, how it is used virtually everywhere in the world, and more.
Very interesting Wikileaks telegrams and emails about the sleazy Smartmatic International Corporation’s origin and some questions that their presence raised helped see into who Smartmatic is. They claimed then, and now, to be an American company, while they were originally started by three Venezuelans- Antonio Mugica, Alberto Anzola, and Roger Pinate in the ’90s.
Smartmatic claims their products are all made in New York, but machines are merely assembled there, often after being outsourced to China, Taiwan, and Italy for manufacturing election machine parts. This leaves open vulnerabilities for nefarious acts of interference in our elections by governments like the Chinese Communist Party.
Smartmatic has their general headquarters in Deleware and Boca Raton, FL, international sales headquarters located in Barbados, and research and development headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela.
Caracas’ View of Smartmatic and its Voting Machines
The Wikileaks telegram from Caracas, Venezuela on July 10th, 2006 read, “if Smartmatic can escape the fraud allegation, there is still a corruption question. Well before Smartmatic, Venezuelan law had dictated that voting ought to be automated to limit fraud — the U.S. company ES&S and Spanish firm Indra had already sold systems to the electoral body.”
It continued on to say, “when the new pro-Chavez CNE was named in September 2003, however, it immediately set out to replace all existing systems. Declaring the bid process to be an emergency (though there was as yet no referendum scheduled), the CNE bypassed normal procedures and initiated a closed bid process:
Smartmatic won the contract, which totaled at least US$128 million, including the delivery of 20,000 touch-screen voting machines (re-engineered lottery machines) yet to be built. There were immediate questions about how a virtually unknown company with no electoral experience could have landed such a large contract.”Wikileaks telegram from 07.10.2006
The writer of the telegram noted, “Mugica had agreed to loan a voting machine to the Embassy for examination. When emboffs arrived at the office, however, Mugica said he had changed his mind and instead suggested that we contact Smartmatic’s Boca Raton office to secure a test machine.”
“Mugica noted that the CNE had purchased the software necessary to operate the machines without his company — part of the CNE’s stated goal of achieving “technological independence” — though he noted the CNE regularly holds out until the last minute before hiring them to administer an election.
He listed several countries in Latin America where they had either started supplying machines or were pushing for sales. In December, Mugica told Polcouns the company is trying to break into Europe and Asia (he mentioned having sales agents in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines), they had yet to secure any sales. Of course, via Sequoia, Smartmatic is already working in a dozen U.S. states.”
The telegram concludes, “The company came out of nowhere to snatch a multli-million dollar contract in an electoral process that ultimately reaffirmed Chavez’ mandate and all-but destroyed his political opposition.
The perspective we have here, after several discussions with Smartmatic, is that the company is de facto Venezuelan and operated by Venezuelans.”
Why are we using this company in OUR elections in the United States? Do we not even put forth the slightest bit of effort to do a little digging into companies we choose to hold the power of ensuring the fate of the election for the freest nation in the world?
Venezuela is not the only country that complained about them to other nations in Wikileaks leaks. Even complaining to US departments like the CIA, in regards to a Filipino election that was rigged using the Smartmatic voting devices.
Fraud in Philipine Election
According to Wikileaks leaked emails from global intelligence company Stratfor, “contrary to initial reports, votes were miscounted for both local and national candidates, in different ways is different localities. At first, Smartmatic technicians claimed that the problem was because the ballot paper used for the testing was thinner than the real paper to be used on election day.
When this was disproven, the official explanation from Smartmatic was that the compact flash cards were improperly programmed. Ballots were printed double-spaced, while the cards were programmed to read single-spaced ballots. Smartmatic took complete blame for the improper programming of the CF cards.”
Another leaked email from the Philippines detailed more causes of error in the election, “Makati Rep. Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin, chairman of the House committee on suffrage and electoral reforms investigating the allegations, blew his top
and hurled invectives at officials of Smartmatic-TIM, the providers of the
precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines used in the elections.
Locsin got angry after an official of Smartmatic admitted the glitches in
the PCOS machines, particularly in the time and date settings, were just
“part of unforeseen circumstances.”
Smartmatic executive Heider Garcia explained the time and date of the
machines were set in their default settings, which resulted in the
transmission of the voting results on a date earlier than May 10.”
It seems “glitches” are all too common in digital voting, “Melo assured the House panel that Comelec and Smartmatic will devote a day
to discuss all the kinks or glitches in the automated polls and how all of
these issues could be addressed.
“We’re happy that complaints of congressmen now have concrete basis, that
they have the chance to present their case, and now the Comelec and
Smartmatic c an address all these concrete problems,” Locsin later told
reporters after the hearing.”
The Wikileaks article went on and showed how a ton of tiny errors can upturn an entire election’s results and that the companies’ always have hypotheticals to explain away problems or they downplay and discredit them all together, “Smartmatic-TIM executives Eduardo Correia and Heider Garcia took turns defending the integrity of the automated polls.
Glitches in date and time could account for the “minimal margin of error”
that they expect from the whole election process, they added.
Melo and Larrazabal took up the cudgels for the foreigners who were the
“There are really som e glitches sometimes,” Melo said.
“Sometimes the sync in your laptop is not the same, but that does not
affect your work on the excel (program),” Larrazabal said.
Smartmatic in America
The Smartmatic systems are used in much of California, including in Los Angeles County where they created Voting Solutions for All People (VSAP). Their website reads, “this portable Ballot Marking Device (BMD) combines a touchscreen user interface and a ballot printer in a user-friendly device. It can also be equipped with a ballot collection box. Conceived by Los Angeles County election officials with public and professional input, VSAP produces a paper ballot with human-readable text that can be verified by the voter and audited by election administrators. It is accessible for voters with disabilities and can be programmed to display in multiple languages.”
Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Smartmatic. According to their site he “enjoyed a distinguished career in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he served as the 29th Vice Commandant until June 2015 when he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a position he held until January 2017. He was named one of the 25 most influential business travel executives of 2016 by Business Travel News after he led a complete transformation of TSA.”
The Biden campaign has recently announced their “Transition Team Agency Review Teams,” and guess who is on the Department of Homeland Security team? Peter Neffenger.
According to their site, “agency review teams are responsible for understanding the operations of each agency, ensuring a smooth transfer of power… These teams are composed of highly experienced and talented professionals with deep backgrounds in crucial policy areas across the federal government. The teams have been crafted to ensure they not only reflect the values and priorities of the incoming administration, but reflect the diversity of perspectives crucial for addressing America’s most urgent and complex challenges.”
It is extremely disconcerting to me that the Chairman of Smartmatic is part of the Homeland Security transition “agency review team” for Biden, among others specially selected for being “experienced and talented professionals with deep backgrounds in crucial policy areas.”
Smartmatic has a number of patents under Smartmatic International Corporation.
As you can see on the Smartmatic International Corporation patent above, Venezuelans Antonio Jose Mugica and Roger Pinate are still actively involved in what the company is up to.
According to this patent, “the main function and object of an electronic voting pad input device is to facilitate the inputting of choices by the voters using a relatively inexpensive technology while eliminating the need to pre-print a great many, even millions of ballots for a given election process, as in each precinct a single sheet of paper is repeatedly used, namely, viewed by many voters.”
The patent describes the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail as, “when a citizen performs the act of actual voting, the voting machine registers the voting data, that is, the selected options made by the voter, in an encrypted format, and also the machine may print a receipt or VVPAT (Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail) to allow for later verification and audit of the votes. During the whole Voting Day the ballot paper remains intact in the electronic pad(s) connected to a given voting machine and hence it can be used by all voters assigned to that specific voting station, machine or precinct.”
This patent is a frightening look into the future, and if they are using this already then there are some more serious issues because machines were not supposed to be connected to the internet. It reads, “The present disclosure relates specifically to votes that are cast remotely (such as over the Internet).“
“There however remains no way to verify election results without having special knowledge of advanced technologies. In the past, in-person electronic voting systems worked around this by introducing an attached printer that can show the voter for whom he has voted for (or how his ballot has been recorded), namely, a paper trail, which makes it very easy to have voters verify their ballots without special knowledge or skills, and can also serve for later recount purposes. Yet, for people casting ballots remotely over electronic means, no such paper trail has been proposed or implemented.
The present disclosure tackles this need by proposing a means by which paper trails can be generated in a way to both satisfy a voter’s need to verify the ballot be submitted over electronic means (e.g., the Internet) has been recorded properly, and the need of electoral officials to be able to demonstrate to stakeholders that the result of an election (including the ballots cast from remote locations) can be recounted to verify the election. The embodiment of this disclosure is called a Remote Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail device (R-VVPAT device), and the paper trail produced by it is called an R-VVPAT.”
They go into detail about how your vote would be remotely cast and stored, however, there is no part of it that seems secure or in any way better than the old fashioned pen-marked ballots. I am not technologically savvy, but I can think of a number of ways the votes could be altered prior to and after voting. Usually there is the common-knowledge that there is nothing that is truly secure if it is connected to the internet. That leaves an opening for hacking.
The digital paper trail is useless if it can be hacked. A temporary physical paper trail makes going paperless to save on the many copies of ballots pointless. As stated in the patent, however, “there however remains no way to verify election results without having special knowledge of advanced technologies. In the past, in-person electronic voting systems worked around this by introducing an attached printer that can show the voter for whom he has voted for (or how his ballot has been recorded), namely, a paper trail, which makes it very easy to have voters verify their ballots without special knowledge or skills, and can also serve for later recount purposes. Yet, for people casting ballots remotely over electronic means, no such paper trail has been proposed or implemented.”
2020 US Presidential Election
It is rather curious that Smartmatic would use the potentially world-altering 2020 United States Presidential Election to start the use of brand new devices, but their website stated that, “in 2020 and 2021, Smartmatic will introduce in the United States its most current multi-functional voting machine based on the VSAP, along with state-of-the-art e-Poll books, scanners and vote tabulators.”
The Smartmatic systems were used in 16 states since 2005, including their unique systems in Illinois, California, and Utah. In efforts to stop criticism of automated voting systems, they told us they are 100% reliable, which is quite a bold claim. They, and their subsidiaries have not had a history of being 100% reliable, so I do not know how they can honestly claim that reliability anyway.
Apparently Military and Overseas voters can vote remotely, which seems like an incredibly unsafe opening in the security of the voting system. If they can vote from their cellular phone, then surely a hacker has a possible entry point at every wifi connection.
The more I dig into these automated voting softwares, the more I find troublesome. There are more connections and irregularities that I’ll have to save for another article, but I’ll tell you that after researching Smartmatic I have found that every election they’re involved, in from Bangladesh to Brazil to Uganda to America, have “oddities” and “irregularities” that make me question their validity.