Skip to comments.U.S. voting-machine shocker:Does Hugo Chavez own 'em? [recycling 2006 post due to recent mention in
Posted on 10/29/2006 4:20:53 AM PST by Man50D
WASHINGTON Just 10 days before Americans vote in midterm congressional elections that could result in a historic shift of power, the federal government is investigating whether anti-American Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may control the company that operates electronic voting machines in 17 states.
Many questions have been raised about the reliability of the new machines, which leave no paper trails for the purposes of recounts. But now federal officials are investigating whether Smartmatic, owner of Sequoia Voting Systems, is secretly controlled by the Castroite revolutionary leader of Venezuela who denounced President Bush as Satan in his most recent United Nations address, the Miami Herald reports.
An informal investigation of Smartmatic's ownership begun last summer has, the paper reveals, become a formal probe.
One of the other major concerns raised about the electronic voting systems is that they could, under the right circumstances, be tampered with to deliver fraudulent results.
The investigation stems from a May 4 inquiry to the Treasury Department by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., raising concerns about Smartmatic's purchase of Sequoia last year. Maloney said she was disturbed by a 2004 article in the Miami Herald revealing that the Venezuelan government owned 28 percent of Bizta a company operated by two of the same people who own Smartmatic.
In a deal with twists and turns even federal investigators are having trouble following, Bizta bought back those shares after the article appeared, and Smartmatic now characterizes the deal as a loan.
Bizta and Smartmatic had partnered with the Venezuelan telephone company CANTV to win a $91 million contract to supply electronic voting machines for Venezuelan elections, including the controversial 2004 referendum Chávez won in a vote in which he was widely accused of fraud.
Despite the probe, Smartmatic categorically denies any link to the Chávez regime.
"Smartmatic is a privately held corporation, and no foreign government or entity including Venezuela has ever held an ownership stake in the company," Mitch Stoller, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail to the Miami Herald.
"The government of Venezuela doesnt have anything to do with the company aside from contracting it for our electoral process," the Venezuelan ambassador in Washington, Bernardo Alvarez, told the New York Times tonight.
But the Venezuelan connections have haunted the company whose machines have been plagued with problems in U.S. elections.
When the Chicago City Council asked Sequoia executive Jack Blaine in April about problems in that city's voting, he said some Venezuelans had provided technical support during the election and that some of the glitches could be traced to a component developed in Venezuela to print and transmit results to a central tabulation computer.
The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners is withholding further payment to Sequoia until after the Nov. 7 election.
The Smartmatic investigation is being conducted by the Treasury-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, CFIUS which determines whether deals involving foreign investors compromise national security.
Determining whether there really is a hidden connection to Chávez or anyone in his government is difficult because of Smartmatic's complex, though legal, corporate structure, reports the Miami Herald.
Stoller admitted the company is 97 percent owned by the four Venezuelan founders two of them dual citizens: Mugica (Spanish and Venezuelan), Anzola, Roger Piñate and Jorge Massa (French and Venezuelan). The remainder of the company, Stoller told the paper, is owned "by employees of Smartmatic (past and present) and family and acquaintances of the founders."
The four top owners have not said whether they support or oppose Chávez.
"The government should know who owns our voting machines that is a national-security concern," said Maloney, who started the investigation with her letter last May. "There seems to have been an obvious effort to obscure the ownership of the company."
Chavez has made it clear his goal in life is to bring the U.S. to its knees. He has stood with Iran against the U.S. and, as WND reported Thursday, he is providing documents that could help terrorists infiltrate the U.S.-Mexico, according to a new congressional report on homeland security.
"Venezuela is providing support including identity documents that could prove useful to radical Islamic groups," says the report of the subcommittee on investigations of the House Homeland Security Committee. "The Venezuelan government has issued thousands of cédulas, the equivalent of Social Security cards, to people from places such as Cuba, Colombia and Middle Eastern nations that host foreign terrorist organizations."
The documents can be used to obtain Venezuelan passports and American visas, which in turn allow the holder to elude immigration checks and enter the United States.
As WorldNetDaily reported, a Venezuelan military defector claims Chavez developed ties to terrorist groups such as al-Qaida even providing the group with $1 million in cash after Sept. 11, 2001.
Air Force Maj. Juan Diaz Castillo, who was Chavez's pilot, told WorldNetDaily through an interpreter that "the American people should awaken and be aware of the enemy they have just three hours' flight from the United States."
Diaz said he was part of an operation in which Chavez gave $1 million to al-Qaida for relocation costs, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
In so many ways,Chavez is going right along with the playbook.
The Dems are too close to Hugo Chavez.
It is long past time to deny visas to all Venezuelan passport holders.
Any Venezuelans who wanted out of that Communist hellhole have left already.
Next, diplomatic ties should be broken and their embassage kicked out. They should not even be granted visas to attend the UN.
Lock them out.
Incredible if true.
Maybe we shouldn't have just laughed at all the DUmmies who whined about Diebold fixing elections. We should have taken that as a sign that the LEFT is going to try to "fix" the machines to fix the elections. Leftists are dirty, filthy lying, thieving, bastards. The world would be better off without them.
...and you wondered why Carter and Sheehan thought this guy was OK.
According to Alvaro Vargas Llosa:
6. In December, 2004, a "gag law" was imposed making it easy to prosecute journalists. Chavez continually threatens to withdraw TV and radio licenses--the reason why there are no opinion programs on network TV.(My note; eerie resemblance to McCain-Feingold)
Another of his frauds involves the electoral system. Chavez has manipulated the voter registration rolls, adding two million phantom voters, including 30,000 who are 100 years old and citizens names "Superman."
The Maisanta database includes every single registered voter in the country. I am still trying to get the latest version, the one I obtained is from last year, but the point is the same. It is likely the newest version represents simply a deeper and more widespread violation of our rights.
From this, we can have: his address, whether he signed or not to recall Chavez, his date of birth, address (sometimes with telephone), as well as the voting center that he uses. Additionally, he is "rated" as whether he is a good voter or not, based on his recent activity as a voter. Finally, the software is cross-referenced with whether the voter is a member of two of the Government's social missions, Mision Ribas, the program to graduate people from high school in a short time, and Vuelvan Caras, a "scholarship" by which the Government gives people a monthly stipend to participate in projects to work against poverty and social exclusion
You may wonder how I knew the ID number of the Prosecutor General? Easy, the software has a very cumbersome sequential search tool that finds all of the Isaias Rodriguez' of the country, if by chance you did not know his ID number.
The software comes in a CD; you install it (3 Gbytes) and are ready to go. You don't know anyone that has it? Easy go to Plaza Bolivar in downtown Caracas and for Bs. 3,000 or 4,000 you have your own copy. (The Chavistas distributed over 35,000 of them last year for the recall vote and the regional elections).
This window has lots of information to discriminate, harass, classify and label people near wher you live. You have the ID number, age, whether the person signed petitions against the opposition, against Chavez, whether the person is rated as "opposition", abstainer and in columns not shown, whether the person signed or not against Chavez and if his or her signature were rejected or not. Then in the buttons below, you can print, search, filter according to categories or simply click on the button labeled "patriots". Press that and you only see the true "Aryans" loyal to the process, those that signed against the opposition. These are your revolutionary, fascist buddies, ready to die or whatever for the revolution. In fact, if they are not on your side but they participate in any of the misiones, you can threaten them with removal of their meager perks, if they don't want to follow orders. Cute, immoral and perverse, no?
Imagine the chaos if machines spit out 100 percent votes for various candidates...
This is unbelievably bad...the enemies of the state are controlling the machines!
Which candidates will the Smartmatic's Sequoia Voting Systems machines need to elect in order to bring the U.S. to its knees?
And those 17 states are...??????
Probably not historic even if Chavez wins, but it does point out that the Ds are after power, as are the enviros and the anti-wars, and every other interest group nobody is interested in.
More likely Chavez is in this to secure his OWN elections rather than to influence US ones.
Truly scary bump.
The vote needs to print out and the voter then needs to drop it in a locked box.
You have a point. Whenever the left screams too loudly about something, it usually means they are doing it.
Again from thew website I posted - the conclusion:
"The legacy of Smartmatic is a tangled web indeed that has led investigators to Switzerland, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Italy, South America and elsewhere in an effort to solve the riddle. Obviously I have no knowledge about this personally and I am relying on The Miami Herald and Orlando Ochoas published research on the matter as two of my primary sources. Having said that, Ochoas research clearly suggests that while many of the individual players in this soap opera are largely concealed, it isnt too far fetched to conclude that, due
to the obviously intimate connections, the Venezuelan government most likely has a major controlling interest in Smartmatic Corporation."
This is beyond funny. "Don't worry... it's just the part that transmits the totals to the central tabulator..."
just another reason not to trust these voting machines. MD Governor Bob Ehrlich has been pleading with people to vote via absentee ballot because the MD systems have so many flaws
what I can't understand is that everytime you use an ATM card or a credit card you get a reciept, even if you are just buying a bag of chips at 7-11
but you don't get a paper slip after you vote
And those 17 states are...??????
I was wondering the same thing. So far, here's what I've found:
States designated as high risk because they use DREs with no paper backup are: Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Another article from the same site:
With a $13.3 million contract signed Friday by Alameda County, Sequoia Voting Systems arguably became the dominant voting-system maker in California, with more counties than any other.
Outside California, a controversy has sprung up over the foreign ownership of Oakland-based Sequoia.
Politicians in the Windy City and CNN journalist Lou Dobbs suggested recently that the federal government was derelict in not having investigated Sequoia and its acquisition last year by Smartmatic, a Boca Raton, Fla., firm largely owned by Venezuelan businessmen.
After Chicago and Cook County were plagued with delays this spring in tallying a primary, city alderman Edward Burke suggested Sequoia's voting machines were part of a conspiracy by Venezuela President Hugo Chavez to manipulate U.S. elections.
"We may have stumbled across what could be (an) international conspiracy to subvert the electoral process in the United States of America," Burke told reporters. "Tell me a single, solitary reason there is to trace ownership through three shell corporations to the Curacao Islands and its roots to Venezuela, where they have already been involved with the dictator of Venezuela, who Defense Secretary (Donald) Rumsfeld says is an enemy of the United States."
I found another entry on a blog site from March of this year:
"Who would have guessed that Chavez and his cronies -- never content to demonstrate the evils of state ownership of private companies on just their own citizens -- now own the company that makes American voting machines!
Other than going against the "we've got to know the winner the moment the polls close" tide, can someone please explain just what in Sam Hill is wrong with hand-counted paper ballots?
Problem with hand counted paper ballots is that we no longer have a civic sense of duty. Public schools have generated such apathy that the only people working voting booths are union thugs and older folks. The civic layer is gone. Eventually this will be completely automated because there will be noone to staff the precincts.
Because Dims are too, well, dim, to understand that Pat Buchanan isn't Al Gore.
Once the "paper trail" is gone, say goodbye to real elections.
Republicans are as human as Democrats are.
In 2004 presidential elections out of these Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania got results favorable for Kerry.
Some more information including link to voting machine company site, etc.
Very sharp potlatch!
A little bigger matched BG on Chavez and...
algore looks Halloween-ish there
Much like that crazed preacher in HBO's "Carnival" series a few years ago
I saved those sometime back, don't know if the Gore one could be a PhotoShop or not. I 'sized' the Chavez one to fit.
Now it's the turn of the right to be paranoid about electronic voting. Good. The sooner that both sides are satisfied that it's secure, the sooner we can get away from paper chads and all that rubbish.
I love your Hillary!
She really is a nasty clown.
Those guys need to get a room. ;o)
Those are two excellently matched pics!
Gore looks like he's gonna blow any minute. ;o)