– Massive cheating feared for the 2022 presidential elections
DOUBT shrouds the integrity of the forthcoming 2022 automated national and local elections, as former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York hinted the Smartmatic vote- counting machines being used in the Philippines – and recently in the United States — as vulnerable to poll fraud.
In an interview with the Fox Business Channel, Giuliani, in his capacity as lawyer of re- electionist US President Donald Trump, claimed that the Smartmatic vote-counting machines are “hackable.”
Giuliani hinted that the Dominion automated vote-counting system that was used during the most recent presidential election is owned by Smartmatic through an intermediary company referred to as Indra.
The former Mayor for New York City categorically claimed that it [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 likewise put heavy emphasis on the not so remarkable record of Smartmatic, which he claimed has been behind electoral frauds in many countries, without actually mentioning the Philippines which has been using its system for over a decade.
Giuliani also hinted at 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.
US Presidential Elections
The former NY Mayor accused Smartmatic of manipulating the recent US presidential election in key US states adding that its Dominion Voting System are using machines designed to allow human intervention.
Asked as to what he meant by human intervention, Giuliani categorically translated those two words into one jargon – “hackable.”
“There no such machine as un-hackable” said Giuliani who went as far as tracing back 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 actively take part in the election system covering at least 28 states which includes the territories currently under dispute: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Giuliani said that 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 seen to make a fortune out of “internal arrangements” outside the legally binding contracts they seal and sign.
In the case of the US, Giuliani said that Smartmatic used Canadian firm Dominion Voting System, a company that sells voting machines and software in US and Canada. Dominion, he added is owned by Smartmatic, through an intermediary company named Indra.”
The company Giuliani referred to is Indra Sistemas S.A., a Spanish multinational company that offers consulting services on transport, defense, energy, telecommunications, among other activities – including elections.
During his interview, Giuliani said that “the votes go to Barcelona, Spain,” where the electoral fraud actually takes place.
He however did not elaborate on the company names that the Smartmatic is using in other countries that it has dipped into.
Smartmatic’s Ops and Fundings
According to Giuliani, 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. Giuliani added that three sources informed him that “the funding for Dominion came from Venezuela.”
He went on to say that Smartmatic company is 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 already maintained and configured 58,000 counting and voting machines that had been sold to 307 jurisdictions in the country.
Smartmatic in PH
Smartmatic has been administering automated elections in the Philippines since 2010.
From the 2010 presidential elections and many succeeding elections thereafter, Smartmatic’s vote-counting machines (VCMs) suffered technical glitches casting doubt on voters and candidates alike.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has used Smartmatic VCMs, previously known as precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines, since the first automated elections in 2010.
Despite controversies surrounding the Smartmatic system, the poll body went on to buy 97,000 VCMs used in the 2016 elections.
Smartmatic and Comelec
Lawyer Glenn Chong, former congressman of Biliran, thinks the machines are either manipulated or simply not usable anymore.
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 enumerated.
Relatedly, the group of former election commissioner Gus Lagman in 2015 filed an electoral sabotage case against officials of technology provider Smartmatic.
Of the many automated elections since 2010, the most controversial was that of the 2016 national elections. The poll body was then under the helm of former Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista, who was impeached a year after the 2016 national elections.
Bautista can’t be located
Bautista was appointed in 2010 by then President Benigno Aquino III as chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government.
Five years later, he was appointed Comelec chairman.
Bautista’s appointment proved to be of essence in the 2016 General Elections in the Philippines, where many issues and accusations circulated in the media and online social networks about the alleged manipulation of the election results by the dominant political party at the time, Liberal Party.
On October 11, 2017, Bautista announced his intention to resign as chairman of the Commission on Elections by the end of the year following claims by his wife Patricia of unexplained wealth, which he has denied.
Hours after announcing his intent to resign, the House of Representatives voted 137– 75–2 to impeach Bautista from the post, overturning the House Committee on Justice’s earlier decision to discard the impeachment case. The articles of impeachment have yet to reach the Senate, which will serve as the impeachment court.
He has not been located since. He has skipped a Senate probe into his alleged ill-gotten wealth that was exposed by his former wife. A warrant of arrest would be served to the former Comelec chairman as soon as he flies back home.
Two years from now
In less than two years, the Philippines will again be conducting a general election, which would embark on presidential, vice-presidential, senatorial, congressional and local posts.
With the Giuliani revelation, the Philippine electoral system raises a question – will there be integrity in the 2022 general election, with the poll body tapping a firm accused of gullibility to fraud, if not fraud in itself?
As of this writing, controversies covering the last four Philippine elections that used Smartmatic system have yet to have closure, not even one of the hundreds of electoral protests cases filed in the courts and the poll body.