November 16, 2020 at 01:00 am
Rey E. Requejo
Doubts on the integrity of the 2022 automated national and local elections may again be questioned if the Commission on Elections will depend on the vote-counting machines provided by Smartmatic after former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York claimed that the Smartmatic’s VCMs being used in the Philippines—and recently in the United States—were vulnerable to poll fraud.
In an interview with the Fox Business Channel, Giuliani, in his capacity as lawyer of reelectionist US President Donald Trump, claimed that the Smartmatic vote-counting machines were “hackable.”
He said Dominion, the company that provided the automated vote-counting system used during the most recent presidential election, was owned by Smartmatic through an intermediary company referred to as Indra.
He claimed that the Smartmatic vote-counting machine was basically developed and designed to commit fraud in the process of vote-counting, particularly for the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.
He claimed that Smartmatic had been behind the electoral frauds in many countries, without actually mentioning the Philippines, which has been using its system for over a decade.
Giuliani also hinted about the origins of the Dominion- Voting System and the company’s alleged connection with Smartmatic, one of the most questioned automated voting companies, primarily because of the affiliation of the people behind the company to Chávez.
He accused Smartmatic of manipulating the recent US presidential election in key US states, adding that its Dominion Voting System was using machines designed to allow human intervention.
Asked what he meant by human intervention, Giuliani said “hackable.”
“There no such machine as un-hackable,” said Giuliani who cited 2019, when the secretary of state in Texas denounced what was aptly referred to as “irregularities” and refused to use Smartmatic’s Dominion “Suite 5.5” voting system.
Smartmatic’s Dominion nevertheless was able to take part in the election system covering at least 28 states, which included the territories currently under dispute: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Giuliani said Smartmatic’s not-so-impressive record compelled its top corporate honchos to consider using other company names, or an intermediary, if only to ensure an unhampered operation to make a fortune out of “internal arrangements” outside the legally binding contracts they were sealing and signing.
In the case of the US, Giuliani said, Smartmatic used Canada's Dominion Voting System, a company that sells voting machines and software in the US and Canada.
Dominion, he added, was owned by Smartmatic through an intermediary company named Indra.” The company Giuliani referred to was Indra Sistemas S.A., a Spanish multinational company that offers consulting services on transport, defense, energy and telecommunications including elections.
During his interview, Giuliani said “the votes go to Barcelona, Spain,” where he said the electoral fraud actually took place. But he did not elaborate on the company names that Smartmatic was allegedly using in other countries that it had dipped into.
He said Smartmatic was founded by three Venezuelans who were very close to the dictator Hugo Chávez back in 2003, adding that the company was formed to fix elections.
“That’s the company that owns Dominion. Dominion is a Canadian company, but all its software is from Smartmatic,” Giuliani was quoted during the interview.
He said three sources informed him that “the funding for Dominion came from Venezuela.” He went on to say that Smartmatic was under scrutiny in the United States for having been present in key states during the elections and having operated for questioned elections in Venezuela for many years.
The company, which provides machines and technology, has been marketing its services in the United States since 2006. By 2015, it had already maintained and configured 58,000 counting and voting machines that had been sold to 307 jurisdictions in the country.
Smartmatic’s long arms allegedly were also able to touch on the Philippine electoral system. It had in fact been the first and only company that had been administering automated elections in the Philippines since 2010.
From the 2010 presidential elections and many succeeding elections thereafter, Smartmatic earned a reputation of allegedly being notorious. Its vote-counting machines had disappointed many with technical glitches, casting doubt on voters and candidates alike.
The Commission on Elections has used Smartmatic VCMs, previously known as precinct count optical scan machines, since the first automated elections in 2010. Despite the controversies surrounding the Smartmatic system, the poll body went on to buy 97,000 VCMs that were used in the 2016 elections.
Smartmatic-Comelec Conspiracy Lawyer Glenn Chong, former congressman of Biliran, thinks the machines are either manipulated or simply not usable. Chong, who in 2019 ran for a Senate seat, lamented how his votes were counted after his team delivered their report on the election results.
“It is the worst election ever. In Camarines Sur, my scores counted the same as the precinct numbers. In precinct 11, the machines counted 11 points; in precinct 12 it said 12; and 13 votes in precinct 13,” he said.