Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Will George Soros Fix the U.S. 2012 Presidential Election?

Borrowed from Anthoney Martin of the Examiner - Thank You The news story being circulated around the alternative media concerning the Spanish company SCYTL and its contracts with 900 U.S. voter jurisdictions is a complicated one. And it is one that has tended to lend itself to broad generalizations and, in some cases, misinformation. Digging deeper into the vote tabulation controversy should help separate fact from fiction.  First, it is important to consider what has been discovered to be either fiction or at the very least unconfirmed speculation. Rumors, innuendo, and opinions that cannot be verified by the paper trail cannot be considered fact, although there may be some kernel of truth within them. A perfect example is the oft repeated claim that George Soros owns SCYTL. There is no evidence that the Leftwing billionaire has any financial stake in the company. SCYTL is funded by three sources, venture capital corporations that specialize in investing in privately owned companies. Those three sources are Balderton Capital, Nauta Capital, and Spinnaker SCR. Advertisement SCYTL's board of directors and information concerning its founder can be found at the corporate website. Information on the company's management team can be found here. However, all attempts to discover who exactly owns SCYTL have come up empty. The company is listed in all official profiles as a "privately owned corporation," but no information is given as to the identities of the private owners. Another common claim is that SCYTL is owned by the Spanish government. This is not true. When the company was first established in 2001, the Spanish government was one of its initial investors. But Spain has never had nor currently has controlling interest in SCYTL. The company's headquarters is located in Barcelona, Spain, but it does business throughout the world. Yet another claim being circulated far and wide is that Barack Obama contracted with SCYTL to handle the vote for the 2012 general elections in the U.S. Again, there is no truth to the claim. Neither Obama nor the Federal Elections Commission have the authority to make contracts on behalf of all of the voter jurisdictions in the United States, which are controlled by state and local governments. It is for that reason that SCYTL has over 900 separate contracts with over 900 voter jurisdictions in over 14 states. There can be no blanket contract that covers all voter jurisdictions, given that each one is a separate entity. Further, the nature of the contracts that SCYTL has signed with the 900 voter jurisdictions varies from entity to entity. In some areas the company will actually tally the vote through the software it has provided to state and local governments. These entities are using electronic voting machines exclusively, or what is known as e-voting. In addition, some states have implemented what is called remote online voting, which allows a voter to cast a ballot live, online, even from the comfort of their own homes. Comparatively speaking the jurisdictions that have implemented such a system are few in number. So far such a system has been utilized only on a limited basis in local municipal elections in certain selected test markets. Most of the contracts state and local governments have signed with SCYTL are for the electronic reporting of votes after the votes have been counted and entered into the company's software database. This allows states to provide detailed graphics concerning election results, but it does not involve the actual counting of votes. The company has also contracted with numerous jurisdictions to handle absentee, overseas, and military ballots. Thus, what, exactly, is the problem with the various jurisdictions using SCYTL? Critics say that the machines and software the company provides are too vulnerable to hackers and to those intent on perpetrating voter fraud. In 2010, Washington, D.C.'s new electronic voting system installed by SCYTL was hacked. And during the South Carolina Republican Primary this year there were numerous reports of irregularities associated with the company's electronic system. The problems associated with electronic voting led to a major complaint being filed with the Election Assistance Commission by Voter Action.  Prior to 2012 much of the software being used for voting system upgrades came from a company called SOE. However, SCYTL acquired SOE in a purchase agreement in late 2011 and early 2012. The platform that SCYTL currently uses actually originated with SOE before the acquisition. But herein lies yet another problem inherent with the software, according to critics. Elections and vote fraud expert Bev Harris of Black Box Voting says that the uniform system SCYTL now uses makes it nearly impossible to check for accuracy, given that it does not mandate a paper trail of votes. There is no proof, no written record, no documentation. If the company utilized two separate counting systems, the two could be compared and contrasted to test for accuracy. But such a system of checks and balances is not being implemented by the company, and some states no longer require a paper record of votes. Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of systems like that of SCYTL, however, is the fact that it is possible for elections officials in government, and the computer programmers who work with the machines and software, to see how each individual citizen votes. According to Harris, such a system is a direct threat to voter privacy. Harris states that public officials in Colorado have admitted that they can see how an individual citizen votes.  And given that at least 11 other states use the same system, it can be safely assumed the same thing can happen in those states: Public officials now admit they can see how you voted and link it to your name. This issue affects Colorado, almost all of Washington State, as well as some locations in California, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia and likely other states as well.  If you vote by mail or at combined-precinct "vote centers" your vote may be viewable by public officials and/or vendors.  In Colorado, election officials have been trying to cover up this inconvenient (and unconstitutional) issue, by preventing the public or the media from being able to examine ballots -- ever, even after elections are over. While this particular issue has not been traced specifically to SCYTL, it is common knowledge that electronic voting systems can be programmed by vendors according to the specifications of local elections officials, meaning that if they wanted to do so government officials could direct vendors to tweak the software in such a manner as to make it possible for individual votes to be traced to individual voters. This is illegal and a violation of the constitutions of the various states.  Thus, while the software provided by SCYTL is vulnerable, the broader issue lies with local elections officials who sometimes operate outside the boundaries of the law. This is not the fault of the company but is an indication of a systemic cancer that is growing within the U.S. regarding the integrity of those who are chosen to manage the elections process. Incompetence is also an issue according to those who monitor the elections process.

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