United States Voting Integrity is at Risk with Smartmatic Voting Systems
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In June, Los Angeles County made the move to hire Smartmatic, a Venezuelan-owned company, for up to $282 million to overhaul their voting system. This decision was made after this year’s mysterious California Primary glitch of 118,000 names that went missing from the L.A. County voter rosters. The goal is to have this system complete and ready for March 2020  — just in time for the 2020 Presidential Elections.
Smartmatic quickly opened new offices in Santa Monica and hired about 50 new employees.  There are also Smartmatic voting machines in 16 US states including contested battleground states like Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Virginia, as well as in District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.
Smartmatic has been making waves into in the United States elections without much media exposure. They are currently attempting to add more machines and to overhaul the voting systems in more states. Most recently, Kevin Shelly, the US President of Smartmatic, was in Georgia offering demos of their machines.
Abraham Lincoln wisely stated, “You can not escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Many counties, throughout the United States, are in discussions about updating their voting systems in time for the 2020 presidential elections. Before these states spend millions on their new voting systems, we need to take an honest look at this Venezuelan owned company that is infiltrating into our election systems and ask ourselves if they can be entrusted with the integrity of our elections. We need to be wise like Lincoln and not evade this topic. If we wait until more counties choose their voting systems, it may be too late to protect the integrity of our elections. We need to be responsible for and protect tomorrow’s elections now.
In 1997, three Venezuelan colleagues, Antonio Mugica, Alfredo José Anzola and Roger Piñate developed a system capable of handling thousands of simultaneous inputs. After George W. Bush won the 2000 United States Presidential Election, they decided to dedicate this system to the United States elections. This same year, this Venezuelan trio had officially incorporated Smartmatic in Boca Raton, Florida. Why would three men from Venezuela have an interest in U.S. Presidential Elections? This answer we may never clearly know. But, we do know the following facts.
On August 9th, 2017, El Nacional, a Venezuelan newspaper, announced that Smartmatic ceased operations in Venezuela after irregularities of about one million votes. Smartmatic was in charge of counting electronic votes in Venezuela. However, the National Electoral Council (CNE) had announced results different from those reflected by the Smartmatic voting system during the elections of the National Constituency Assembly on July 30th, 2017. This led to an immediate end of Smartmatic’s relationship with the CNE.  One of the co-founders of Smartmatic, Mugica, stated, “We can not guarantee results from the constituent, we believe that the data for the election was manipulated.” 
Christine Pelosi, daughter of Nancy Pelosi, stated, “Voting is a civic sacrament — the highest responsibility we have as Americans.” With the responsibility being so high, does it make sense, for any county in the United States, to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to Smartmatic to have control over the elections in any of our states when one of the co-founders stated that he can not guarantee the results after a discrepancy in another country?
The Chairman of Smartmatic is Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, who has been a Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom since 2007. Malloch-Brown has been closely associated with George Soros since 1993. In 1999, William Orme, a spokesman for the United Nations Development Program, which Malloch-Brown headed, stated that Soros and Malloch-Brown were “good friends”. Their bond has stayed close for at least 25 years with Soros continuously entrusting Malloch-Brown. Here are some examples:
- 1993: Malloch-Brown was part of Soros’ Advisory Committee on Bosnia for Refugees International.
- 1995: Malloch-Brown co-founded International Crisis Group after Soros’ Open Society Institute provided $200,000 to finance planning activities. Soros pledged additional seed funding. 
- 2005: Malloch-Brown rented a New York apartment from Soros while working on UN assignments.
- 2007: Malloch-Brown became Vice Chairman of Soros’ Fund Management and Soros’ Open Society Institute.
- 2013: Malloch-Brown settled an out of court settlement of €90,000 plus costs for his PR firm, FTI Consulting. This was after Israeli mining billionaire, Beny Steinmetz, sued FTI claiming that Malloch-Brown had given confidential information to Soros which led to a smear campaign against Steinmetz’s mining company.
Why does this long term relationship full of deep trust matter? Soros, a Hungarian-born billionaire, has a well-documented interest in the United States’ elections and is a generous donor of strict liberal causes. He has donated at least $10,556,793 to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Election campaign.  In 2015, Soros committed to bankroll up to 5 million dollars for the Democratic fight to overturn voter ID laws to wipe out voter ID requirements. 
Does knowing that a powerful billionaire, who is well known for attempting influence over the United States elections, has a deeply intertwined relationship with the Chairman of a voting system that has been working its way to control the United States elections make you a bit uncomfortable? Wouldn’t this be a conflict of interest? If this is not enough, keep reading.
Malloch-Brown is a board member of the Open Society Foundation, which has donated about $15,000 to Democrats already this year, donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign and other Democrats, as well as funded lobbying for strictly liberal causes.   Would this be a conflict of interest?
Malloch-Brown is the Co-Founder of the International Crisis Group. This Group has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for Foreign & Defense Policy interests over the past decade.  In addition, all of the Group’s political donations have been made entirely to Democratic politicians since 2000.  Would this be another conflict of interest?
Malloch-Brown was appointed Chairman of FTI Consulting in 2010.  He stepped down in 2014 but still has an advisory role. FTI donated over $70,000 to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign. In addition, FTI acquired the C2 Group in 2013 while Malloch-Brown was Chairman of FTI.  C2 Group is a Washington DC lobbying firm that “provides its clients with distinctive service and seasoned advice on influencing public policy.” Is this perhaps another conflict of interest?
Hillary Clinton said it herself, “Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process.” How can we have integrity in our elections when the Chairman of an electronic voting system is obviously devoted to strictly liberal causes?
Besides these above conflicts of interests, many others have noted the untrustworthiness of Smartmatic. Here are a few examples:
Smartmatic was blamed for Brazil’s fraudulent presidential election in Oct. 2014. 
The Mexican news site, Entresemana, reported that the Smartmatic system failed during the June 7th, 2015 election in the state of Tabasco. The system started late, incomplete reports were delivered late and the reports contained typos and discrepancies. According to Entresemana, This led to so much uncertainty among parties and candidates that they requested to nullify the election and sought an investigation. 
Philippine newspaper, Manilla Bulletin, reported that the Department of Justice indicted personnel of Smartmatic, including technical team head Marlon Garcia. Garcia admitted to tweaking the server the night of the national elections on May 9th, 2016, as the results were being transmitted. Manilla Bulletin concluded, “Until Smartmatic is removed from our shores, the integrity of our elections, the very heart of our democracy, will always be at risk.” 
Two years later, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr., former senator in the 16th Congress of the Philippines, asked the government to adopt a “hybrid” system for the upcoming elections. He alleged that Smartmatic, which automated Philippine elections, had allowed cheating to happen. On August 24th, 2018, Marcos stated, “They (Smartmatic) are not here to sell an election system, they are here to give a system of cheating.” 
Experts also concluded that computer-based voting cannot be completely trusted. Dr. Nathaniel Polish, Co-Founder of Daedalus Technology Group, Inc., was quoted as saying, “Computer-based voting is a real problem. If it is not completely open source with code open for public inspection and comment, then it can not be a valid way to collect votes. Period. There is really no room for compromise on this. Elections done electronically with proprietary systems will always be suspect.” 
The Smartmatic website states that 80% of US voters believe that upgrades to the nation’s voting technology would build trust in the elections and that 7 out of 10 voters would support efforts to fund improvements to voting technology. While I do believe these statements may have some validity, I don’t believe that Smartmatic is the technology that the United State should be investing in. There are too many red flags regarding Smartmatic.
Ronald Reagan stated, “For this Nation to remain true to its principles, we cannot allow any American’s vote to be denied, diluted, or defiled. The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties, and we will not see its luster diminished.”
Voter integrity matters. As a nation, we need to ensure the integrity of our electoral system to ensure trust. Without this trust, the integrity of the United States Electoral Process will be at risk. With all of these conflicts of interests, discrepancies of the past, and numerous controversies that were not covered in this article, Smartmatic does not appear to be a company that can truly be trusted to ensure the integrity of our elections.
Smartmatic is partnered with SGO, which Malloch-Brown is the Chair and Mugica is the Director. SGO also partnered with eVote, a web, and mobile voting platform.
Personal note: As a mindset coach to victims over the last 20 years and a victim myself, I have seen how victims suffer. I also witnessed that if protection is provided and preparations are properly executed, there are fewer victims. If a system that has been proven to be untrustworthy is allowed into our election system, this can produce millions of victims. We need to ensure that people can trust our election process and feel secure that their vote matters. We need a system that is trustworthy and offers paper trails that can be verified by various people from different political parties and interests.
 Pricey voting system approved by LA County Board of Supervisors.
 Smartmatic opens local office and hires dozens in Los Angeles
 CNE ya busca candidatos para suplir a Smartmatic
 Smartmatic denuncia manipulación en la elección de la constituyente
 Crisis Group: Who are we?
 FTI and Lord Malloch-Brown settle out of court with mining billionaire Beny Steinmetz
 Soros’ $5 million bankrolls suits to stop voter ID laws
 George Soros Bankrolls Democrats’ Fight in Voting Rights Cases
 Hillary Clinton, Top Contributors.
 Open Society Foundations Recipients
 Foreign & Defense Policy Contributors
 International Crisis Group Recipients.
 FTI Consulting Appoints Lord Malloch-Brown as Chairman of Its EMEA Operations
 C2 Group Joins FTI Consulting.
 The Future of U.S. Voting May Be U.K Technology.
 Smartmatic Messed Mexico, Brazil Elections.
 Desnudo Smartmatic Cochinero Electoral en Tabasco.
 Why is Comelac Still Doing Business with Smartmatic?
 “Smartmatic sold a system of cheating’
 The Technical Foundations of Today’s Elections are Shaky, Especially in Ohio.
Joanne Cipressi is the author of Ditch Your Doubt and an award-winning mindset coach with a passion for integrity, helping and preventing victims, research, and blueberry cobbler.