Smartmatic

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South America: E-voting firm Smartmatic could miss out on Brazilian and Venezuelan election | BNamericas

The printers developed by Venezuelan-owned e-voting firm Smartmatic have been rejected this week in a vote-casting compliance test carried out by Brazil’s top electoral court TSE. The test concluded that Smartmatic’s “engineering model” did not comply with the bidding requirements. While the QR codes printed by the Smartmatic model were read correctly by electronic devices, the proportions of the codes did not meet the requirements, TSE said. Smartmatic had won with a 67.3mn real-bid (US$20.7mn) a public tender held in January by TSE to provide 30,000 printers for Brazil’s general elections in October. Those printers are expected to be integrated to the same number of voting machines to give voters a paper copy of their vote. … Meanwhile, Smartmatic is also most certainly out of the April elections in the country where it began its operations: Venezuela.

Full Article: E-voting firm Smartmatic could miss out on LatAm's key election year - BNamericas.

Venezuela: False Election Turnout Reported, Voting Company Says | The New York Times

The Venezuelan government reported false turnout figures for its contentious election over the weekend, announcing a tally that had been altered by at least one million votes, a software company involved in setting up voting systems for the country said on Wednesday. “We know, without any doubt, that the turnout of the recent election for a National Constituent Assembly was manipulated,” the company, Smartmatic, said in a statement. The vote was part of an ambitious plan by the government to consolidate power. President Nicolás Maduro instructed Venezuelans to select from a list of trusted allies of the governing party — including his wife — who will rewrite the nation’s Constitution and rule Venezuela with virtually unlimited authority until they finish their work.

Full Article: Venezuela Reported False Election Turnout, Voting Company Says - The New York Times.

National: Voting machines and election systems – a quick look | Associated Press

Digital voting machines are in the spotlight in Venezuela, where the head of Smartmatic, a maker of election systems used in the country’s tumultuous constituent-assembly election, said Wednesday that the official turnout figure had been “tampered with .” The company’s CEO said the count was off by at least 1 million votes — possibly in either direction. Tibisay Lucena, head of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, dismissed that allegation as an “irresponsible declaration” that might lead to legal action. The government-stacked electoral council claims more than 8 million people voted in the election for a nearly all-powerful constituent assembly. Independent analysts have expressed doubts at that number. Here’s a look at the technology and politics of voting machines and election systems. The voting-machine market is a speck in the prodigious tech sector. Iowa University computer scientist Douglas Jones estimates its annual revenues in the United States at less than $200 million — roughly what Google pulls in every day. It’s much harder to get reliable information about the fragmented global market for election systems.

Full Article: Voting machines and election systems - a quick look | Colorado Springs Gazette, News.

Venezuela: Election results ‘manipulated’ by at least 1 million votes, polling company says | The Washington Post

Election results decried by government opponents as a brazen power grab were manipulated by at least 1 million votes, the company that provided Venezuela with its voting system said Wednesday. Antonio Mugica, chief executive of London-based Smartmatic, which has provided technology for Venezuelan elections since 2004, said it detected an inflated turnout figure Sunday through the nation’s automated balloting system. “With the deepest regret, we have to say that the turnout data presented on Sunday, July 30 for the constituent election was manipulated,” Mugica said at a news conference in London. His company’s analysis of the data, Mugica said, suggested an inflated number of “at least 1 million” — a potentially important difference that would allow the government to claim a higher turnout than an opposition-held unofficial ballot last month.

Full Article: Venezuela election results ‘manipulated’ by at least 1 million votes, polling company says - The Washington Post.

Venezuela: Election turnout figures manipulated by one million votes: election company | Reuters

Turnout figures in Venezuela’s Constitutional Assembly election were manipulated up by least 1 million votes, Smartmatic, a company which has worked with Venezuela since 2004 on its voting system, said on Wednesday. “We know, without any doubt, that the turnout of the recent election for a National Constituent Assembly was manipulated,” Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said at a news briefing in London. Mugica said Smartmatic, which has provided electronic voting technology for elections around the world, was able to detect the overstated officially announced turnout because of Venezuela’s automated election system. “We estimate the difference between the actual participation and the one announced by authorities is at least 1 million votes,” he said.

Full Article: Venezuelan election turnout figures manipulated by one million votes: election company.

Australia: New South Wales Electoral Commission given $5.4m to rebuild iVote | iTnews

The NSW Electoral Commission scored $5.4 million in this year’s state budget to rebuild its iVote online voting system in time for the next state election in 2019. The funding is part of a $23 million package to improve the agency’s online systems, which will also see the introduction of “an end-to-end solution for the disclosure of political donations, expenditure and the lodgement of public funding claims,” budget documents state. Last month the NSWEC asked the market to suggest off-the-shelf software that could replace the online voting system’s current core platform. “The RFI [request for information] process will give suppliers the opportunity to demonstrate new or innovative solutions that may better meet the needs of the NSWEC,” the agency said at the time.

Full Article: NSW Electoral Commission given $5.4m to rebuild iVote - Strategy - Software - iTnews.

Nepal: E-voting this time? | Nepali Times

It is still not sure whether there will be local elections in May. But if that happens, it might not just be the first local polls in 20 years but also be the first opportunity to introduce electronic voting across the country. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal visited the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday and learnt about the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in upcoming elections (pic, above). “Local polls are possible in May,” he said, “and Nepalis have already become smart enough to vote electronically. If they can use mobile phones in rural villages, why can they not use voting machines?” The EC has approached Smartmatic, a UK-based company, to buy EVMs. On Tuesday, a representative of Smartmatic showed PM Dahal how its voting machines can be used.

Full Article: Nepali Times | The Brief » Blog Archive » E-voting this time?.

Philippines: Smartmatic out of precinct count optical scan diagnostics – Comelec | Inquirer

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has announced that Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. would have no role in the ongoing diagnostics of the old precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines. Comelec chair Andres Bautista said the poll body opted not to adopt the plan of previous election officials to involve Smartmatic in the diagnostics project involving around 81,896 PCOS machines. Bautista explained that the Comelec is not obliged to include the technology provider, which served in that capacity in the last three automated national and local polls. “The PCOS machines came from Smartmatic, but it is already the property of the Comelec and the government of the Philippines,” he said.

Full Article: Smartmatic out of PCOS diagnostics–Comelec | Inquirer News.

Philippines: AES hacking issue raised anew and Smartmatic’s demand for P2B payment | The Manila Times

On December 9, 2016, a number of news websites carried the news that President Barack Obama had ordered a full review of possible Russian hacking of the recent United States election. Questioning whether an automated election system (AES) can be hacked or not raises concerns about the integrity of the AES and the credibility of election results that the system generates. The Philippine experience in automating the elections is no different. Concerns were raised on possible vulnerabilities of the AES used in the last three elections. Everything happens inside the machine and those internal mechanisms are shielded from public observation But can the voting machines really be hacked? Just as in the US, none of the vote counting machines (VCMs) used in the Philippine elections is connected to the Internet; they connect to the transmission network only when they are ready to transmit the election returns to the city or municipal canvassing and consolidation system (CCS) and other servers. Hackers would not be able to hack into the VCMs since the transmission network is configured as a virtual private network with the appropriate security measures in place, and the time period to perform hacking activities is very short. Potentially, however, the CCS and other servers are exposed to possible attacks since the CCS and other servers are open for much longer periods while they wait to receive transmissions from the VCMs and CCS.

Full Article: AES hacking issue raised anew and Smartmatic’s demand for P2B payment - The Manila Times Online.

National: Claim that George Soros owns U.S. voting machines is Pants on Fire! | PolitiFact

How do you spread a rumor without taking responsibility for spreading it? By saying you don’t vouch for its accuracy — yet. That’s what Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., did on CNN on the topic of vote rigging. In an interview on the Situation Room, Duffy said he didn’t have evidence of “widespread problems across the country,” but he went out of his way to relay some troubling reports. “Articles that I have read, I haven’t verified them,” Duffy told host Wolf Blitzer on Oct. 27, 2016. … The claim about billionaire Soros emerged on several conservative websites. One Daily Caller report said, “Smartmatic, a U.K.-based voting technology company with deep ties to George Soros, has provided voting technology in 16 states including battleground zones like Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Virginia.” The article noted that Smartmatic stated on its website that it “will not be deploying its technology in any U.S. county for the upcoming 2016 U.S. presidential elections.” That nuance was lost on many people. More than 125,000 signed a petition posted  Oct. 21, 2016, on the White House website that said, “We the people ask Congress to meet in emergency session about removing George Soros-owned voting machines from 16 states.” To be clear, abundant evidence shows that Soros owns no voting machines in the United States.

Full Article: Claim that George Soros owns U.S. voting machines is Pants on Fire! | PolitiFact.

Philippines: Comelec returns 1,000 vote-counting machines to Smartmatic | The Inquirer

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday began returning more than 1,000 vote-counting machines (VCM) to its supplier despite opposition from former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. whose poll protest was based partly on allegations that the election results had been manipulated with the use of VCMs. In an urgent manifestation and motion on Oct. 21, Marcos asked the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) to “prohibit the poll body from releasing the subject VCMs” after the Comelec informed Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno it plans to return the machines to Smartmatic-TIM. The Marcos camp also asked the PET to determine whether these VCMs were used in the vice presidential race, which the former senator lost by about 260,000 votes to Leni Robredo, the Liberal Party candidate. On June 29, Marcos filed his electoral protest and asked the PET to stop Robredo’s inauguration. He said votes that were counted for Robredo were fraudulent, contesting the results in 39,221 clustered precincts in 25 provinces and five cities.

Full Article: Comelec returns 1,000 VCMs to Smartmatic | INQUIRER.net.

Philippines: Comelec hit for escape of Smartmatic engineer | The Manila Times

The camp of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Sunday blamed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Bureau of Immigration for the “escape” of a Smartmatic emgineer facing criminal charges in connection with the May 9 elections. The Marcos camp had asked the Comelec to ask the Immigration bureau to issue a hold departure order (HDO) against all personnel of Smartmatic accused of violating the Cybercrime Law but the request was not granted. Smartmatic is the technology provider to last month’s local and national polls. The respondents were charged for their alleged involvement in unauthorized alteration of the script of the transparency server at the height of the transmission of votes just hours after voting closed.

Full Article: Comelec hit for escape of Smartmatic engineer | The Manila Times Online.

Philippines: Is Smartmatic selling more than just VCMs? | The Manila Times

Whatever the outcome of Commission on Elections (Comelec)’s investigation on the unauthorized changes made by Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. (Smartmatic) in the transparency server used by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), it is undeniable that the Venezuelan-owned company committed a serious violation not only of its supply contract but also of the country’s electoral laws. If only to show that our laws and rules are not to be trifled with, the harshest penalty possible ought to be imposed on Smartmatic – perpetual disqualification from any Philippine elections. After all, there are many (and bigger) providers of electronic voting systems in the world other than Smartmatic. Comelec chairman Andy Bautista’s explanation (surprisingly echoing Smartmatic’s excuse for lack of a better alibi) that the correction of the computer script of the Comelec transparency server was merely a “cosmetic change” and did not affect the poll results, is at best ill-informed and speculative, and at worst misleading. Well-intentioned or not, the supposedly “minor” change does not justify Smartmatic tampering with the electronic canvassing system, more so while the bulk of the voting results were being transmitted to the Comelec servers.

Full Article: Is Smartmatic selling more than just VCMs? | The Manila Times Online.

Philippines: Comelec, PPCRV, Smartmatic officials face election sabotage charges | Manila Bulletin

Top officials of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and the Comelec service provider Smartmatic are facing election sabotage charges before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) for allegedly changing the computer script (hash code) or program which may have altered the counting of the votes. Most of the respondents were not named in the 27-page complaint except for Henrieta de Villa of PPCRV and Marlon Garcia Smartmatic, the Venezuelan IT expert who allegedly changed the script together with unnamed Comelec technicians to accommodate the letter “ñ.” The complaint was filed jointly by the Mata sa Balota Movement (MBM)) and the Coalition of Clean Air Act of the Philippines which asked Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to look into the hash code switch which they claimed seriously affected the integrity of the counting of the votes in the May 9 national and local elections.

Full Article: Comelec, PPCRV, Smartmatic officials face election sabotage charges | mb.com.ph | Philippine News.

Editorials: Smartmatic all set, Comelec unready | Jarius Bondoc/The Philippine Star

Smartmatic says it’s 100 percent ready for Election Day. Ready to what, rig the results? Election automation experts cannot but be suspicious. The Venezuelan voting-machine seller has pulled off too many shady deals with the Comelec. It is tainting the credibility of Election 2016. The backdrops for the balloting on Monday are worrisome, to say the least. The Comelec official website has just been hacked. Sensitive personal data of 55 million voters, which the Comelec negligently included, have been dumped on the Internet. Cybercriminals likely have copied the fingerprints, photographs and signatures. Voters will fall prey to blackmail, extortion and cyber-fraud. Smartmatic is striving to dissociate itself from the Comelec fiasco. It claims that its automated election system is hack-proof. Experts have never disputed that. What they’ve been saying all this time is that Smartmatic’s machines are prone to internal manipulation.

Full Article: Smartmatic all set, Comelec unready | Opinion, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com.

Philippines: Smartmatic donates thermal paper for vote receipts | The Philippine Star

Voting 6-1, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday decided to accept the 1.1 million rolls of thermal paper donated by Smartmatic International to be used as voter receipts. The poll body said it has also opted to accept the two million marking pens donated by the Netherlands-based company. The pens will be used by voters to mark their ballots. “We discussed in our en banc meeting the offer of Smartmatic to donate marking pens and thermal paper. The law department made a recommendation that we would not be violating a law if we accept (the donations),” Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista told reporters.

Full Article: Smartmatic donates thermal paper for vote receipts | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com.

Philippines: High court orders Comelec to activate voting receipts | Inquirer News

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to issue voting receipts as a verification mechanism for the electorate in the May 9 elections, the first time the poll body was compelled to issue printouts of voters’ choices since automated counting in the country began in 2010. In a unanimous ruling, the high court ordered the Comelec to use the voter verification paper audit trail in voting machines, which will issue a receipt to each voter after casting his or her ballot. The ruling came just two months before Election Day. “The Commission on Elections is ordered to enable the vote verification feature of the vote-counting machines, which prints the voter’s choices,” the high court said in the dispositive portion of its ruling.

Full Article: High court orders Comelec to activate voting receipts | Inquirer News.

Philippines: Comelec junks use of voting receipts | The Manila Times

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has junked the use of the voter verification paper audit trail (VVPAT), one of the four minimum security requirements mandated by law, in the May 9 elections. The seven members of the Comelec en banc were unanimous in the decision to do away with the system that will provide a paper trail during the polls. Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista made the disclosure on Tuesday during a hearing by the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Automated Election System and amid calls by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and election watchdogs to activate the security feature to ensure the integrity of the coming electoral exercise.

Full Article: Comelec junks use of voting receipts | The Manila Times Online.

Philippines: Comelec prepares trusted build of poll software | CNN

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday (January 26) came up with the trusted build of the software that will be used to run the election management system (EMS) of the May 9 national and local polls. The supplier of the software, Smartmatic-Total Information Management (TIM), and the international certifier, SLI Global Solutions, put the trusted build together based on the customized source code reviewed by SLI in Denver, Colorado, USA. They were supervised by members of the Comelec and representatives from the Technical Evaluation Committee of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). On its website, the Comelec defines the trusted build as “the process whereby the source code is converted to machine-readable binary instructions (executable code) for the computer. It is performed with adequate security measures implemented to give confidence that the executable code is a verifiable and faithful representation of the source code.”

Full Article: Comelec prepares trusted build of poll software - CNN Philippines.

Philippines: More than 50,000 vote machines undelivered | The Manila Times

Some 45,000 out of the 97,519 vote counting machines (VCMs) that will be used by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the coming synchronized local and national polls have arrived in the country. Comelec spokesman James Jimenez on Friday disclosed that of the number, 20,944 units had been delivered to the Comelec’s warehouse in Santa Rosa, Laguna, while the remaining 24,000 were still awaiting release by the Bureau of Customs (BoC). According to Jimenez, full delivery that accounts for the remaining 52,575 machines would be made by the end of the month as agreed upon by the Comelec and technology provider Smartmatic Corp. He explained that the voting machines would undergo hardware testing before they are accepted by the poll body to ensure that they are functional.

Full Article: More than 50,000 vote machines undelivered | The Manila Times Online.