In the 2020 U.S. presidential election, with public opinion, on election day November 3rd, overwhelmingly in favor of President Trump, the preliminary results from the mainstream media on the morning of November 4th showed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden winning the Presidential contest over President Trump. While Biden’s team was celebrating, evidence of ballot fraud was emerging. The Dominion Voting Systems (DVS) ballot-counting system used in 28 states during the election contained Chinese-made hardware components as well as the Smartmatic ballot software.
Voter data was illegally transmitted to foreign countries and this led to the seizure of a server by the U.S. military at the offices of Scytl in Frankfurt, Germany. Public discontent reached a climax and finally erupted on November 14 in Washington, D.C., when the Washington D.C. Voters’ Association held a rally. Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to demand electoral transparency, and to support Trump’s re-election.
The use of high-tech voting systems to process voting results in the U.S. is not new. The DVS machines use software from Smartmatic which describes itself as the global leader in secure, accessible, transparent election technology. Once one of the top-ranked voting systems in the U.S., Smartmatic has a complex background and continues to generate controversy. In the 2020 U.S. election it has been exposed as a real threat to U.S. national security.
Founded in Venezuela in 1997 by a team of three engineers – Antonio Mugica, Alfredo José Anzola, and Roger Piñate, Smartmatic specializes in the design and end-to-end deployment of technology solutions for specific applications. The company’s niches are: electronic voting systems, smart city solutions (including public safety and public transportation), identity management systems for civil registration, and authentication products for government applications.
The company’s first U.S. entity was incorporated in Delaware in April 2000 and opened its headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida with seven employees in November of that year. The 2000 U.S. presidential election was marred by “hanging and dimpled chads” on the Florida ballot cards. After controversy erupted over the miscounting of ballots, Smartmatic began to target the development of election voting systems.
In April 2003 in Caracas, Venezuela, Smartmatic officially unveiled its prototype for election automation. The testing of the prototype covered all the details of the process necessary for any type of election. During the tests, emphasis was placed on the system’s encryption capabilities, which are essential for the confidential storage and transmission of data, as well as the robustness of the software and hardware system’s components. The system passed all tests with no shortcomings, said a company spokesperson.
The voting system was developed entirely in-house by Smartmatic. That includes the integration of hardware and software systems from design stage to end-to-end deployment.
Such a complex, purpose-built technical solution would require a strong, system-wide R&D capability that would not have been possible in Venezuela without massive technical and financial support. Although Smartmatic established a U.S. presence in 2000, almost all of its products were developed in Venezuela, a country where capital is scarce and scientific research and manufacturing are not sophisticated.